The National Industrial Court (NIC) has restrained the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) from giving any effect to the letter which allegedly terminated the services of Francis Johnson.
The letter, which seeks to compulsorily terminate the claimant’s appointment from the corporation, was to take effect from August 26, 2016.
The court said that the interim injunction would subsist, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
Justice James Agbadu-Fishim gave the order on Thursday after hearing the submission of Chief Solomon Akuma (SAN), counsel to the claimant.
Agbadu-Fishim said he had perused the contents of the letter of termination of appointment and other exhibits tended before the court by the claimant.
He also said that the record of the court showed that there was proof that the order of Aug. 23 was served on the respondent.
“In view of the absence of the respondent, I hereby grant the prayers of the claimant as prayed.
“I am also granting the prayers because the respondent failed to file processes to justify reason for the absence.
“In my order of Aug. 23, I noted among other things, the contents of exhibits B, B1 and C which documents are before the court; based on that, I hereby grant the ex-parte as prayed,’’ he said.
He then remitted the case to the president of the court for reassignment to a judge in the Abuja Division for determination.
Johnson had filed a motion ex-parte on Aug. 23 seeking an interim injunction to restrain the defendant from giving any effect to NNPC letter of May 10.
The letter seeks to compulsorily terminate the claimant’s appointment from public service with effect from Aug. 26, 2016.
The application was supported by a 13-paragraph affidavit of urgency disposed to by Francis Johnson.
The court had ordered the defendant to appear in court to show `cause’ why the reliefs sought in the ex-parte should not be granted.
It also ordered NNPC not to take any step that would render nugatory the res (subject matter) of the application.
It further ordered that fresh hearing notices be served on the defendant, and adjourned the case till Aug. 25 for the defendant to show cause.
However, at the resumed hearing on Thursday, the respondent failed to appear in court to show cause as ordered.