By Bridget Edokwe
The Presiding Judge, Lokoja Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Oyebiola Oyewumi has declared the purported dismissal of Queen Munirat Idris from Kogi State Local Government Service Commission over alleged fake certificate as unlawful.
The Court held that Queen Munirat was not given fair hearing as required by law for the failure of the commission to consider the letters from the Institution addressed to the commission and Governor of the State through the Chairman of the commission affirming the originality of the certificate being the foundation upon which Munirat was dismissed.
Justice Oyewumi made a consequential order for Munirat Idris to be placed back to her former position in the Kogi State Local Government Service Commission and pay all her salaries as if she never left her employment up till date.
From facts, the claimant- Queen Munirat had contended that her dismissal by the commission was grossly unjust, unlawful, improper, and wrongful over alleged fake result which the school has affirmed its originality and all effort to get reinstated proved abortive.
In defense, the Kogi State Local Government Service Commission urged the court to decline jurisdiction on the ground that the case was instituted outside the 3 months permissible by the Public Officers (Protection) Law that the cause of action arose in 2018 amongst others.
The defendants continued that the said certificate was allegedly obtained after the Munirat joined the service of the commission, and never at any time was she given a study leave to pursue a course; and asserted that the said forged certificate was referred to the relevant committee, and Munirat was heard before being dismissed from service, urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety.
In reply, claimant counsel contended that her client sought and obtained official approval before proceeding on studies and the suit is not time-barred and no documentary evidence of the committee’s proceedings was placed before the court to show that the claimant was ever served query or even allowed to defend herself, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.
Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Oyebiola Oyewumi dismissed the objections for lack of merit and affirmed the jurisdiction of the court to hear the matter.
Justice Oyewumi held that there is nothing on Exhibit Q to show that the defendants considered the said subsequent letters Exhibit Q5 and Q9 before dismissing the claimant.
“In view of the subsequent revelations, the defendants should not have proceeded to dismiss the claimant on the strength of Exhibit K which Exhibit Q5 and Q9 have boldly stated to be an error with attached transcripts of the claimant in prove of the fact that the claimant did intact attend the School and lawfully obtained the Certificate in question.” Justice Oyewumi ruled.