The Presiding Judge, Abuja Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae has dismissed the alleged unlawful compulsory retirement claim filed by one Nicholas against the Federal Inland Revenue Service for lacking merit.
Justice Obaseki-Osaghae held that the Federal Inland Revenue Service has established to the satisfaction of the Court the reason it compulsorily retired Nicholas from service.
The Court further declared that Nicholas’s scandalous misconduct of drunkenness in the office is grave, weighty and has eroded the confidence reposed in him by the revenue agency to carry out his duties, and awarded the sum of N100k against Nicholas in favour of the Federal Inland Revenue Service as cost of action.
From facts, the Claimant- Nicholas had submitted that on the 9th and 23rd of May 2019, he had taken some local herbs during working hours for treatment of typhoid fever not knowing that the herbs had some alcoholic content which caused him to become intoxicated and look drunk.
He stated that he was served with a query which he promptly responded to and expressed his deep and sincere regret for taking the local herb before reporting for work, and also apologized for mercy accompanied by a resolution not to repeat that act.
Meanwhile, Nicholas averred that the process leading to his compulsory retirement was not in compliance with the FIRS’s Human Resource Policies and processes, and urged the court to set it aside.
In defence, the Defendant- Federal Inland Revenue Service stated that Nicholas’s records show that he not only has a history of drunkenness at the workplace which makes it impossible for him to perform his duties but also absent himself from work without permission and had appeared before the officers’ Disciplinary Committee sitting in two instances.
Delivering judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Obaseki-Osaghae held that there are no averments in Nicholas’s pleadings that his employment is one with statutory flavour, neither are there any averments by him that his fundamental right to fair hearing was breached.
The Court maintained that when an employee complains that his employment has been unlawfully terminated, he has the burden not only to place before the court the terms and conditions of his employment but how the said terms or conditions were breached by the employer.