Court Awards Dismissed WAEC Staff 0.56M In Damages
The National Industrial Courts sitting in Enugu has awarded the sum of N559, 943. 28k to Mr Augustine Amakom who was sacked by the West African Examination Council (WAEC) in damages.
The judgement which was delivered by Justice O.O. Arowosoge on Dec.1 also awarded N300,000 to him as cost of litigation and that the money should be paid within one month.
Amakom who had worked for 22 in WAEC was sacked for allegedly writing the Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination at a centre outside those approved for WAEC staff.
According to the WAEC, the management considered the Report of the panel that investigated your registration for and writing of the November/December 2010 WASSCE at Centre 5150505 instead of the designated staff examinee centre.
“As a staff examinee, you took part in the conduct of the examination including sorting life codes in the Strong Room and monitoring the examinations centres.
“The management observed that your actions amounted to gross misconduct which contravenes Chapter 10.06(b)(iv)&(x) of the Conditions of Service for National Staff of the Council in Nigeria (August 2005 Edition) for which the penalties are dismissal,” it said.
Amakom, however, challenged his dismissal in suit no. NICN/EN/26/2018 filed at the NICN in Enugu seeking four reliefs including a declaration that he did not violate any previous Code of Conduct and that he should be reinstated and paid in full.
The Court described the dismissal as unjustified and an act of unfair labour practice and that the Claimant should be compensated in damages apart from restoring his earned entitlements.
The court however refused to order that he should be reinstated as it was the right of the employer to decide who he employs.
Mr Benedict Oguine, counsel to Amakom who spoke to journalists in Awka on Monday lauded the Court for it’s judgement describing it as victory for the oppressed worker.
Oguine who advised workers who felt that they were unjustly sacked from their workplaces to challenge such actions in the law court as there were laws that protect them against such unfair labour practices.
“Victims should not go home and lick their wounds rather they should explore the legal redress.
” It is obnoxious for any employer to stop an employee from pursuing a higher educational career, it should not be a basis to sack him, however the employer was notified.
“The problem is that most victims chose to keep quiet, no employer should sack any worker unjustly, Amakom vs WAEC has proven that the law protects the oppressed.
“The Nigerian law condemns casualisation but every day we hear about it especially in the banking industry, people are sacked at will, this should stop, my advice is that those affected should challenge such sack.