GRACE JACK V. UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE MAKURDI
CITATION: (2004) LPELR-SC.262/2000
   
new OTHER CITATIONS:
1 Jack v. UNAM (2004) 5 NWLR (Pt. 865)208
2 (2004) 1 S.C (Pt II) 100
3 (2004) 17 NSCQR 90
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Nigerian Coat of Arms
In The Supreme Court of Nigeria
On Friday, the 30th day of January, 2004
Suit No: SC.262/2000
 
 Between
GRACE JACK Appelants
 
 And
UNIVERSITY OF AGRICULTURE MAKURDI Respondents
 
SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT 

This appeal is from a decision of the Court of Appeal, Jos Division delivered on 8 May,2000 in appeal No. CA/J/47/2000 allowing the appeal of the respondent to it against the decision of Ogbole, J. of the High Court of Benue State in suit No. MHC/749MJ94 given on 22 September, 1995.

The facts giving rise to this case are largely undisputed. The appellant was employed by the respondent on 4 June, 1990 as a clinic attendant.On 7 May, 1991 she was transferred to the Bursary Department of the University. The appellant remained in that department until 23 September, 1993 when she was served with a letter of suspension. An internal inquiry was then set up by the respondent to determine the involvement of the appellant in some misconduct in relation to the collection and issuance of receipts for fees and other dues from students. The panel of inquiry found the appellant guilty of misconduct and accordingly dismissed her from service on 17 February, 1994.

The appellant was aggrieved and consequently by an ex parte application brought under Order 1 rule 2 of the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules, 1979 she was granted leave by the High Court of Benue State holden at Markurdi to file a notice of motion against the respondent claiming as follows:-

"2(a) An order quashing letters of suspension and dismissal with ref. Nos. R/UAM/JP/1315/VOL.141 of 23/9/93 and R/UAM/JP/1314/VOL.1!52 of 17/2/94 as the said letters were issued to the applicant in breach of the rule of natural justice the Federal Universities of Agriculture, Decree No. 48 of 1992 and the conditions of service of junior staff of the respondent.

(b) An order reinstating the applicant to her appointment with the respondent prior to her purported suspension/dismissal.

(c) An order that all the benefits accrued and accruing to the applicant including salary and other allowances of the applicant be computed and paid to her within two weeks from the date this Hon. Court may deem fit to make its final order.

(d) An order that the respondent or any of its agents/servants shall not harass or otherwise render the applicant incapable of performing her duties and or securing her salary, allowances and benefits accrued and or accruing to her.

(e) N50,000.00 general damages for breach of contract of employment.

Alternatively,

An order that the applicant be paid N450,359.58k representing what the applicant could have earned in the next 33 years at N13,647.20 per annum.

3. Grounds upon which reliefs are sought

(i) Applicant was never accused of any wrong doings or confronted with any case of misconduct and afforded an opportunity of defending herself before she was purportedly suspended/dismissed from the employment of the respondent.

(ii) The procedure to be followed in removing any staff for misconduct as provided in Decree No. 48 of 1992, was not attempted let alone followed before applicant was removed.

(iii) Throughout the period that the applicant appeared before the panel investigating irregular payments on 16/8/93 and 1/9/93, she appeared as witness.

(iv) Applicant is entitled to remain in the employment of the respondent until she reaches the retiring age of 65 years.

Dated this 1st day of November, 1994."

At the hearing of the case, counsel for the parties addressed the court.

In his judgment, the leamed trial judge (Ogbole, J.) granted all the reliefs with the exception of the alternative relief which was abandoned.As I have already indicated,the appeal by the University to the Court of Appeal was allowed and the decision of Ogbole, J. was set aside. This appeal is against the decision of the Court of Appeal.The court while allowing the appeal,struck out the claim of the plaintiff on the ground that it was wrongly commenced under the Fundamental Rights (Enforcement Procedure) Rules,1979 instead of writ of summons being a claim on contract.

   
Appearances
 
M. K. Aondoakaa, Esq For the Appelants
 
Respondent unrepresented For the Respondents