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Rivers Vegetable Oil Company Ltd v. Egukole

RIVERS VEGETABLE OIL COMPANY LTD

V

MRS. MERCY EGBUKOLE

COURT OF APPEAL

(PORT HACOURT DIVISION)

SULEIMAN GALADIMA  JCA (Presided and Read the Lead Judgment)


KUDIRAT MOTONMORI OLATOKUNBO KEKERE-EKUN JCA


EJEMBI EKO JCA

CA/PH/139/2002

WEDNESDAY, 3 JUNE 2009

CONTRACT - Breach of contract - Damages therein - Nature of

DAMAGES - Breach of contract - Damages therein - Nature of

DAMAGES - Special damages - How pleaded and proved

EVIDENCE - Party asserting - Duty thereon to prove

LABOUR LAW - Contract of employment - Termination of - Court determining motive behind - Impropriety of

LABOUR LAW - Contract of employment - Where with statutory flavour - Damages therein - Impropriety of awarding in terms of earnings

LABOUR LAW - Employee whose contract of employment is governed by a contract - Damages entitled to

MASTER AND SERVANT - Contract of employment - Termination of Court determining motive behind - Impropriety of

MASTER AND SERVANT - Contract of employment - Where with statutory flavour - Damages therein - Impropriety of awarding in terms of earnings

MASTER AND SERVANT - Employee whose contract of employment is governed by a contract - Damages entitled to

PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE - Speculation - Court resorting thereto in discharging its judicial functions - Impropriety thereof

Issues:

1.             Whether the learned trial Judge was right in holding that the termination of the respondent’s employment was unlawful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

2.             Whether the learned trial Judge was right in the assessment of damages due to the respondent.

Facts:

The respondent was in the employ of the appellant as confidential secretary from 11 June 1990. On 11 September 1999 her appointment with the appellant was terminated. Aggrieved, she instituted an action against the appellant before the High Court of Rivers State sitting in Port Harcourt for declaratory orders that her termination was unlawful and a breach of her contract of employment; she as well claimed for special damages and general damages.

At the conclusion of the trial, the trial court granted respondent’s claim in part, withholding the award of general damages as sought by the respondent. Aggrieved, the respondent appealed to the Court of Appeal.