Justice O.A Obaseki-Osaghae of the National Industrial Court (NIC) has directed the Yaba College of Technology (YABATECH) to recall Mr Olu Ibirogba, its bursar who was sacked in July 2015 for exposing alleged corruption in the institution.
She also awarded N20 million damages to be paid to Ibirogba for his unfair dismissal. This is apart from the payment of all his salaries and entitlement since then.
The money is to be paid within 21 days or it would attract 10 per cent interest.
The Police, Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) are also to begin investigations into Ibirogba’s allegations against the administration of Dr Kudirat Ladipo, who was the Rector when he was sacked in 2015.
In giving her judgment obtained by newsmen on Wednesday, the Justice chided YABATECH counsel, Omolola Satar, for disrespecting the judicial process.
Declaring Ibirogba’s sack null and void, she said it was “in was in gross violation of Section 17 (3) of the Federal Polytechnic Act, extant civil service rules and an affront to the judgement of this court.”
The judge said: “I find that there was a calculated d deliberate attempt by the defendants to subvert the cause and administration of justice. This is one of the instances the Court must grant punitive costs to forestall a repeat of the contemptuous actions of the defendants. Consequently, I award the sum of N20,000,000.00 (Twenty Million Naira) as punitive damages jointly and severally against the defendants for the unjust termination of the claimant’s appointment and deliberate attempt by the defendants to subvert the cause of justice.”
When contacted for comments, the college’s Public Relations Officer, Mr Joe Ejiofor, said the management was still studying the judgment delivered on June 7, 2018 in Lagos.
“Management is still studying the judgment. When we are done, we ill get back to the press,” he told this reporter on phone.
Mr Ibirogba did not answer calls or text messages to his phone.