The National Industrial Court of Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, ordered the reinstatement of seven demoted professors from the Federal University of Otuoke, in the area of the local government of Ogbia.
Judge Bashiru Alkali, who issued the order on Tuesday, also awarded N20 million in damages against the institution, in favor of the speakers.
He determined that applicants should be restored to their full status, while their privileges and rights should be paid for by the institution.
The presiding judge ordered the university to pay each applicant N5 million for defamation and N200,000 for the cost of the litigation.
All litigants were from the Diaspora who returned to serve at the University.
They include Leonard Shilgba – Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Professor Steve Nwabuzor – Department of Civil, Electrical and Electronic Engineering and Dr. Sepribo Lawson-Jack – Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering.
Others are Dr. Obalade Falade – Department of Banking and Finance, Dr. Marcellina Offoha – Department of Sociology and Anthropology, Dr. Evans Eze – Department of Sociology and Anthropology, and Dr. Felina Nwadike – Department of English and Communication Studies.
The university's Board of Directors made important decisions involving appointments and discipline, which led to the reclassification of some academic appointments.
He downgraded seven teacher appointments to lower levels for lack of the necessary scholarship, including that of Professor Nwabuzor.
Displeased with the development, Professor Nwabuzor and the others dragged the institution's vice chancellor, Professor Seth Jaja, and university management before the Nigeria Industrial Tribunal.
In the action marked NICN / YEN01 / 2019, Nwabuzor requested an order from the Court stating that the regularization of his appointment as a teacher for a retirement appointment by the institution's letter of September 1, 2015 and the confirmation of his appointment see letter of 21 February 2017, cannot be tampered with, except in accordance with the Federal University's Otuoke Federal Law (Establishment) 2015.
He also sought a “statement that the alleged conversion of the claimant's retirement appointment into a contract appointment is ultra vires to the accused, considering the Federal University, Otuoke Law (Establishment), 2015, the 1999 constitution (as amended) and all known work. practice."
The don urged the court to declare that the alleged reclassification of his appointment from professor to professor 1, claiming that he does not have the necessary scholarship at the point of entry without hearing him, was unconstitutional, null and void.
He asked the court to annul the defendants' letter of July 5, 2018, converting their legal appointment into a mere employment contract.