- Nigerian Gas Company Ltd. vs. Unuavwodo
- ₦ 200
Nigerian Gas Company Ltd. vs. Unuavwodo
NIGERIAN GAS COMPANY LTD.
COURT OF APPEAL
( BENIN DIVISION )
R. DANLAMI MUHAMMAD, JCA ( Presided and Read the Lead Judgment )
MUHAMMAD, SAIFULLAHI MUNTAKA-COOMASSIE, JCA
KUMAI BAYANG AKAAHS, JCA
21ST NOVEMBER, 2002
CONTRACT - Employment contract - Character thereof - Determinant factor
CONTRACT - Employment contract - Statutory flavour as an attribute of
When not applicable
COURT - Contract duely entered by parties - Duty on trial court to
limit itself to terms therein
DAMAGES - Wrongful termination of employment - Quantum of damages
JUDGMENT AND ORDERS - Declaratory order as to subsistence of employment
contract - Circumstances that can warrant making of
MASTER AND SERVANT - Contract of employment - Character thereof
MASTER AND SERVANT - Contract of employment - Termination thereof - Where violates principles of
natural justice - Effect
MASTER AND SERVANT - Employees conditions of service - Where employer a
statutory body - Whether automatically confers special character thereon
MASTER AND SERVANT - Right of
summary dismissal - Employer exercising same - Whether bound to give tenable
MASTER AND SERVANT - Specific performance of employment contract
Application therefor - When cannot be granted
MASTER AND SERVANT - Wrongful termination of employment - Remedy
available to employee
Whether the plaintiffâ€™s appointment with the defendant
company is one that has statutory flavour, putting it beyond the ordinary
master servant relationship.
Whether the defendant complied with the disciplinary
procedure contained in the conditions of service as well as the principle of
If the answer to issue one is in the affirmative and
that of issue 2 in the negative, whether
the learned trial Judge was right in declaring the purported termination null
and void and of no effect and reinstating the plaintiff to his post.
was an employee of the appellant company. Employed in 1985, he was confirmed to
the post of security guard in 1986. On the 23rd July, 1991, he was suspended
from duty but the company gave no reason for the suspension. Later, on 18th
December, 1991, he received two letters, one being a query asking him to
explain about a fire incident and the other letter terminating his appointment.
Though the letters were dated differently, they were served on him on the same
day and at the same time.
Aggrieved by this
termination, the respondent sued the appellant at the Ugheli Judicial Division
of the Delta State High Court claiming the following reliefs:-
order declaring the purported termination of the plaintiffâ€™s employment with
the defendant company as null and void.
(2) An order
reinstating the plaintiff in the employment of the defendant company.
salary and allowances of plaintiff from July 1991 to December, 1991 as stated
in 3C(i) to (iv) below.
(3b) Salary and allowances of plaintiff from January 1991 till
plaintiff is reinstated by the defendant company.â€
alternative, the sum of N200,000.00 as special and general damages for unlawful
termination of appointment.
In a reserved
judgment, the learned trial Judge entered judgment in favour of the plaintiff,
The purported termination of plaintiffâ€™s employment
with the defendant company dated 18/12/91 is null and void.
Plaintiff is hereby ordered to be reinstated in the
employment of the defendant company.
Accrued salaries and allowances since the commencement
of the case to date to be paid to the plaintiff.â€
Dissatisfied with the foregoing, the
appellant appealed to the Court of Appeal.