The National Industrial Court, Ibadan Division, has overturned the dismissal of Dr. Oladoyin Odebowale, a lecturer in the Department of Classics at the University of Ibadan, (UI), in Oyo State, by the institution’s council.
Odebowale, a lawyer who currently serves as the Senior Special Assistant on Strategy and Special Duties to Ondo State Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu Aketi, was fired from the institution in 2016 for allegedly saying that plagiarism was rampant at the university.
But, dissatisfied with his dismissal, Odebowale sued the institution through his lawyer, Mr Femi Aborisade, claiming that his dismissal was not procedural.
Odebowale, alias High Priest, claimed that the university’s Senior Staff Disciplinary Committee, which heard the charges against him, did not give him a fair hearing.
He claimed that the terms of the university’s Staff Handbook: Rules and Regulations Governing Senior Staff August 2003, the SSDC did not disclose to him the identities of the persons who lodged the complaints resulting in the query issued to him.
He described as “perverse” the recommendation of the SSDC, which the university council acted upon to serve him a dismissal letter dated September 7, 2016.
The court, in a November 18, 2021 judgment by Justice J. D. Peters, entered judgment in Odebowale’s favour against the university.
The judge held, “I declare that the dismissal of the claimant by the defendants did not follow the laid down statutory provisions in Exhibit C3. I set aside all the steps taken by the defendants leading to the dismissal of the claimant.
“I set aside the second defendant’s letter dated 7/9/16. I hereby make an order reinstating the claimant to his position as Lecturer 1, without any loss of earnings, salaries, allowances, perquisites of office, seniority, privileges, pensionable rights and right to promotion, without any break in service, as if the claimant was never dismissed.”