The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Monday affirmed the dismissal of Lucky Egede, an ex- manager of Zenith Bank Plc, Obajana, Kogi over gross misconduct, as lawful.
Egede, according to the defence counsel, Samson Esekhaigbe was dismissed for gross misconduct concerning illegal and unauthorised release of Authority to Collect (ATC), to some of the bank’s customers.
According to Eseikhaigbe, the claimant gave some customers unauthorised credit outside of his authority which he knew was a violation against the bank’s credit policy.
In her judgment, Justice Rakiya Haastrup, held that the court determined the case based on two issues as formulated by the defence counsel.
She said the first issue was, whether the defendant had the right to terminate the claimant’s employment.
Haastrup said because the nature of the claimant’s employment was that of master and servant, therefore, the employer (defendant) could terminate the contract at any time, either for a reason or not.
The judge said the claimant denied the allegation of giving out unauthorised credit facilities without approval and claimed that approvals were granted, but failed to tender the evidence of approval before the court.
The judge also said the claimant who was challenging his dismissal did not place before the court the terms of his contract and also prove how the said terms were breached.
She said “there was no evidence before the court brought by the claimant sufficient to support his claim of unlawful dismissal as alleged by him, and I so hold”.
The judge further said the second issue to be determined by the court was whether in the circumstances of the case, the claimant was entitled to the reliefs he sought.
She said having held that the dismissal in this case was justified, the reliefs sought by the claimant in the suit all failed in its entirety and accordingly dismissed the suit.
The claimant’s counsel, Godday Adache, had prayed the court to direct the defendant to withdraw its letters of suspension and dismissal.
Adache also sought for an order directing the defendant to tender a written apology to the claimant for wrongful suspension and dismissal.
He also sought for payment of his salaries and allowances at the rate of N13 million per annum from the time of his dismissal in 2011 until judgment.
The counsel in addition prayed for payment of general damages to the tune of N1 billion for his client which was equally denied.