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  • 2002-08-05
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National Bank of Nig. Ltd v. Omotayo

NATIONAL BANK OF NIG. LTD.

V

OLALOYE OMOTAYO

COURT OF APPEAL

( BENIN DIVISION )

RAPHAEL O. ROWLAND, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )

BABA ALKALI BA’ABA, JCA

SAKA ADEYEMI IBIYEYE, JCA

CA/B/288/99

MONDAY, 10TH JUNE, 2002

CONTRACT - Contract of employment - Specific performance in respect of  - Whether court will grant

COURT - Award to claimant that which he did not seek - Lack of power in court to do so - Effect

COURT - Claim of party made in the alternative - Attitude of court thereto

COURT - Contract of employment - Specific performance in respect of  Whether court will grant

DAMAGES - Contract of employment - Wrongful dismissal- Measure of damages

EVIDENCE - Proof - Facts admitted - Whether need further proof - Evidence Act, section 15

FAIR HEARING - Natural justice - Requirement for satisfying same in disciplinary proceedings

MASTER AND SERVANT - Contract of employment - Specific performance in respect of  - Whether court will grant

MASTER AND SERVANT - Contract of employment - Unlawfully dismissed servant - Whether can claim wages for service never rendered thereby

MASTER AND SERVANT - Contract of employment - Wrongful dismissal

-  Measure of damages

MASTER AND SERVANT - Misconduct - Test for determining

MASTER AND SERVANT - Misconduct in a case servant had enviable career and goodwill - Whether a relevant factor in considering cessation of employment of such servant

MASTER AND SERVANT - Natural justice - Requirement for satisfying same in a disciplinary proceedings

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Award to claimant that which he did not seek - Lack of power in court to do so - Effect

Issues:

1.            Whether the trial court was wrong in holding that the dismissal of the plaintiff by the defendant was wrongful, unlawful, irregular, null and void as the plaintiff has not misconducted himself to warrant the dismissal.

2.            Whether the trial court was wrong in declaring that the plaintiff is still an employee of the defendant bank.

3.            Whether the trial court was wrong in granting an order of injunction restraining the defendant from removing the plaintiff from continuing his subsisting employment in the service of the defendant.

4.            Whether the trial court was wrong in granting an alternative claim of paying special damages to the plaintiff in case the defendant decides not to accede (sic) the main claim.

Facts:

The plaintiff herein was employed as a clearner in the defendant’s company. Following the plaintiff’s involvement in an act of unruly behaviour and insubordination, he was issued query and subsequently dismissed from the defendant company. Consequently, the plaintiff filed this suit against the defendant.

At the conclusion of trial, the trial court found for the plaintiff and after granting the main claim for unlawful termination of plaintiff’s employment, the trial court went further to award damages as alternative if the defendant does not reinstate the plaintiff.

Dissatisfied, the defendant appealed to the Court of Appeal.