Monday, 4th July 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

Court orders PSC to pay ex-staff retirement benefits

The National Industrial Court, on Thursday, ordered Police Service Commission (PSC), to pay its ex-staff, Pius Timiala, all his retirement benefits. Delivering judgment, Justice Rakiya Hasstrup, held that the letter of dismissal issued to the claimant dated March 27, 2019, was in breach of Public Service Rule (PSR) 030307. She, therefore, declared the said letter…

[FILES] Nigerian Police

The National Industrial Court, on Thursday, ordered Police Service Commission (PSC), to pay its ex-staff, Pius Timiala, all his retirement benefits.

Delivering judgment, Justice Rakiya Hasstrup, held that the letter of dismissal issued to the claimant dated March 27, 2019, was in breach of Public Service Rule (PSR) 030307.

She, therefore, declared the said letter illegal, unconstitutional, null and void.

The court further ordered that letter of dismissal be set aside.

The judge however declined the claimant’s prayer for N2 million as the cost of litigation.

” The cost of litigation must not only be pleaded but proved.

” In this instance, there is no evidence by way of lawyer’s fee or bill or proof of payment placed before the court”, Hasstrup said.

In arriving at its decision, the court relied on a sole issue for determination.

The issue was whether the claimant had proved his case to be entitled to the reliefs he sought.

The court also stated that although the defendant failed to make any appearance or file any process during the pendency of the suit.

That the claimant needed to still prove his claim on credible evidence to be entitled to the reliefs he sought.

” A claimant must prove his case through credible evidence and not rely on the weakness of the defendant’s case even where the defendant did not lead any evidence.

” The refusal of a defendant to testify or prove his case does not alleviate the primary burden on the claimant to prove his case.

” Civil suits are decided upon a preponderance of the evidence, thus the burden of proving a fact lies on the party who asserts and is discharged by leading credible and legally admissible evidence in order to succeed”, the judge added.

From facts, the claimant through his counsel, B.O Nafagha submitted that his client was issued a query on Aug. 10, 2012 and he replied to the query on Aug. 22, 2012.

The counsel in addition averred that the claimant afterwards appeared before the defendant’s disciplinary committee in March 2013.

He said no further action was taken by the defendant against the claimant after the disciplinary procedure.

The counsel said that the claimant was thereafter promoted to the rank of Superintendent of Police effective from Dec. 12, 2015

Nafagha equally submitted that the claimant retired on April 26, 2018, after completing the statutory tenure of 35 years.

He stated that however, the defendant issued him a letter of dismissal dated March 27, 2019, after he had retired.

He argued that the defendant cannot dismiss the claimant after he had duly retired from service.

He said that after the claimant’s retirement, the defendant had failed to pay his retirement benefits which necessitated the commencement of the suit.

The court on its part had relied on the PSR 030307 to arrive at its final decision.

The mentioned clause states that all disciplinary procedures must commence and be completed within 60 days, except where it
involves a criminal case.

The defendant’s query to the claimant was a criminal allegation that he used unnecessary violence against someone which caused his eventual death.

The court ruled that there was no evidence that the defendant resorted to the court of law to determine the criminal allegation against the claimant before reaching its decision to dismiss him.

The court, therefore, concluded that the defendant has failed to institute an action against the claimant before an ordinary court regarding the criminal allegation cannot dismiss him.

It was consequently on this ground that the court found and held that the dismissal of the claimant by the defendant as null and void.

In this article