The National Industrial Court sitting in Ibadan, capital of Oyo state has nullified the suspension of two lecturers of Tai Solarin College of Education (TASCE), Omu-Ijebu in Odoogbolu Local Government area of Ogun state.
The court, presided over by Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale ruled that the two affected lecturers: Dr. Daniel Oludipe and Dr. (Mrs.) Dupe Adenuga were not given fair hearing by either the governing Council of the College or the Ogun state Ministry of Education before they were sanctioned.
In a copy of the judgement made available to our correspondent on Tuesday in Abeokuta, the Ogun state capital, Justice Ogunbowale also quashed the suspension of the affected lectures, affirming that their suspension is subject to judicial review.
The duo of Dr. Oludipe and Dr. Adenuga were suspended in April 2017 over the protest letter they wrote in which they agitated for the unpaid 42 months’ salary arrears, 15 months unpaid salaries, non-remittance of nine months cooperative deductions as well as the Housing scheme.
But the Judge in his judgement also prohibited the governing Council and the State Ministry of Education from further implementing their decisions and declared the letters of suspension of the lecturers null and void.
The judgement read inter alia: “The Ministry of Education, Ogun State, acted ultra vires or in excess of its powers by suspending the two applicants.
“Where the enabling law makes clear provision for the person or the body that can discipline employees as done by the Tai Solarin College of Education law 2018, the law must be followed and only the body imbued with power by the enabling law of the institution can carry out disciplinary powers.
“Where a statute confers specific or special powers on any person or authority and no other that is contemplated in the performance of the duties under the law.
“The cases are very instructive and apposite in the circumstances and also similar to the case under consideration, the applicants in this case were disciplined contrary to the enabling law by the persons not contemplated by the law.
“The only competent authority that is vested with the power to retire or remove anyone from office is the University Council and not the Ministry of Education.”
The court added that the actions of the respondents amount to executive lawlessness and flagrant disregard to the enabling law of the college.
The Presiding judge, however, asked the Ministry of Education and governing Council to pay a sum of N100, 000 in favour of the applicants.