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Court reverses military officer’s disengagement, awards N75m damages

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The National Industrial Court of Nigeria has nullified the compulsory retirement of Captain Benedict O. Akanni by the Nigerian Army.

It went further to order the payment of his salary arrears and other benefits accruing to him till date.

Besides, the claimant was awarded N75 million in damages.

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The court president, Justice B.B Kanyip, delivered the judgment in a suit filed by the dismissed officer against the force, the Nigerian Army Council, the Chief of Army Staff and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, marked NICN/ABJ/125/2018.

The judge regretted that the Nigerian Army, rather than comply with the orders of the Court of Appeal, which voided the applicant’s retirement, “disobeyed, ridiculed and disregarded” the ruling by restoring the claimant merely to the rank of captain, and immediately, compulsorily retired him with effect from April 10 without any further benefits.

He, therefore, ruled: “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.”

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