Court voids army captain’s compulsory retirement, awards him N75m

Posted by News Express | 28 June 2020 | 1,400 times

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•Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai

By PASCHAL NJOKU, Abuja

 Justice B.B Kanyip, President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria has nullified the compulsory retirement of Captain Benedict O. Akanni by the Nigerian Army.

Consequently, Justice Kanyip has ordered payment of salary arrears and all benefits accruing to Capt Akanni till date.

The Industrial Court President made the order in a judgement on a suit filed by Capt. Benedict Akanni (rtd) against the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Army Council, Chief of Army Staff, and Attorney General of the Federation & Minister of Justice.

In the judgement of the suit marked NICN/ABJ/125/2018, obtained by newsmen on Sunday, the court noted that the Nigerian Army rather than comply with the orders of the Court of Appeal, which voided the retirement of the claimant, “disobeyed, ridiculed and disregarded” the order by restoring the claimant merely to the rank of Captain and immediately compulsorily retired him with effect from 10th April 2000 without any further benefit.

Justice Kanyip held that what was not met by the Nigerian Army is reinstating the claimant to his employment, and accordingly held that it was unlawful, null and void.”

The court held that there was no gainsaying that the refusal of especially the Army to restore the claimant to his employment, shattered the claimant’s expectations.

It added that the disobedience of the Army to the Court of Appeal decision restoring the claimant to his employment as an officer of the Nigerian Army must accordingly be recompensed especially in terms of the failed expectations.

“So, for acting arbitrarily, for disobeying the Court of Appeal, and for refusing to restore the claimant to his employment, I assess the general damages of the claimant for lost expectations at N75 million, which I hereby award.

“On the whole, and for the avoidance of doubt, the claimant’s case succeeds in part, and only in terms of the following declaration and orders: “It is hereby declared that the compulsory retirement of the claimant by the 1st defendant through letter (ref AHQ MS/300/226) dated 22nd day of June, 2017 is illegal, null and void. (Sunday Independent)


Source: News Express

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