IN THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT OF NIGERIA
HOLDEN AT KANO
BEFORE HIS LORDSHIP: HON. JUSTICE E.D.E. ISELE (JUDGE)
DATE: 9TH day of JULY, 2019 NO: NICN/KN/29/2017
PROFESSOR HARUNA ABDU KAITA CLAIMANT
THE GOVERNING COUNCIL FEDERAL UNIVERSITY, DATSIN-MA & 4 OTHERS RESPONDENT
Parties Claimant – Present.
Abdul Aliyu, Esq. for the Claimant
Dr. Nasiru Aliyu, Esq. with Tahir M. Bello, Esq. for the 1st, 3rd 5th Defendants
A. L. Yusuf, Esq. for the 2nd Defendant
On Monday 24th June, 2019 the claimant opened his case and sought to tender exhibits which the defendants are objecting to. I have over course of the proceedings of 24th June, 2019 and 4th June, 2019 gone through the length and breadth of those objections which were founded variously on Section 102, S. 122 (1) (M), 84, 104 (3) of the Evidence Act and the provision of Order 40 Rule 1 (3) of NICN (2017) Civil Procedure Rules.
In reaching a decision on this ruling which will become apparent shortly, I refer first to the objection made over the minutes of the 7th regular meeting of the 1st Defendant I find that it is listed as No. vi in the list of documents to be relied on at the trial I have also read the paragraph 8, 9, and 10 of the claimant witness statement on oath and I am satisfied that the facts relating to this frontloaded documents are sufficiently pleaded. A cardinal principle of pleading being that facts are to be pleaded and not evidence by which the facts may be proved or other subordinate facts. See the cases of OWOEYE V. OYINLOLA (2012) 15 NWLR (pt 1322) 84 CA, ORUWARI V. OSLER 5 NWLR (pt. 1348) 535 SC. OHOCHUKWU V. A.G. RIVERS STATE (2012) 6 NWLR (pt. 1295) 53SC, PASCUTTO V. ADECENTRO (NIG) LTD (1997) 11 NWLR (pt. 529) 467 SC. On the basis of these reasons and authorities the objections of both Defence Counsel on the admissibility of the minutes of meeting the claimant is seeking to tender are hereby over ruled.
I do not see the breach of any of the provision of order 40 of the NICN Civil Procedure Rules as cited by Defence Counsel. I so hold.
Regarding the other documents and the objections bordering on CTCs and Certificates required for computer generated documents. I hold that the Provisions in S. 102, 104, and 84 of the Evidence Act have not ousted the Provision of Section 14 & 15 of the Evidence Act which I further hold is applicable at this (interlocutory stage) of the Proceedings.
I hold that all those objections go to evaluation and weight to be attached to the document.
These objections could be useful in Cross Examination of the witness, tendering them or be raised at the address stage as to why the Court should not place reliance on them.
On the whole the objection of the Defendants is over ruled in its entirety. See further the Supreme Court in TORTI V. UKPABI (1984) 1 SCNLR 214 where the Supreme Court held that the paramount consideration at this stage of the proceedings is relevancy and not the weight to be attached to documents.
The following documents are hereby admitted in evidence. Exhibit A is the letter of the claimant as Vice Chancellor of FUDMA of the Federal Ministry of Education dated 11th February, 2016.
Exhibits A1, is the FUDMA letter from the office of the Registrar headed: Suspension without pay dated 20th June, 2017.
Exhibits A2 is the letter from the office of the Registrar FUDMA dated 1st August, 2017 headed Return of office University Vehicle.
Exhibit A3 & A4 is the two page letter from the office of the Registrar FUDMA headed: Termination of Appointment dated 13th September, 2017.
Exhibits A5 is the letter from the office of the Registrar FUDMA dated 13th September, 2017 headed: University Re Organization
Exhibit B to B40 is the minutes of the 7th Regular meeting of the Governing Council FUDMA held on Wednesday 12th and Thursday 13th April, 2017 dated 17th April, 2017.
Exhibit C is a copy of the Federal Ministry of Education letter dated 13th April 2017, written to the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of Council headed: Complaint of offences Corruption, Fraudulent Practices and Infraction of Due process by the Vice Chancellor of FUDMA Professor Haruna Abdu Kaita.
Exhibit C1 to C7 is the copy of a FUDMA letter headed Re: Allegation of Financial Mal – Administrative dated 14th April, 2017.
Exhibit C8 is the letter from Council Affairs Secretariat FUDMA headed: Forwarding of the Complaint on alleged official corruption, fraudulent practices and infraction of due process by the Vice Chancellor of FUDMA Professor Haruna Abdu Kaita
Exhibit C9 & 10 is the FUDMA letter dated 13th April, 2017 from Office of the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman Governing Council headed Allegations of Financial Impropriety and Mal-Administration written to the Claimant in 2 pages.
Exhibit 11 is the FUDMA letter from the Office of the Registrar a letter dated 19th April, 2017 headed Appointment as ACTING Vice – Chancellor.
Exhibits D is the FUDMA letter dated 1st August, 2017 headed Return of University Vehicle with 4 other letter marked as D1, D2, D3 and D4.
Exhibit E is the letter dated 22nd March, 2017 headed Complaint of Official Corruption, Fraudulent Practices and Infraction of Due Process by the Vice Chancellor FUDMA Professor Haruna Abdu Kaita written to the Executive Chairman EFCC in 3 pages.
Exhibit E1 is the letter headed forwarding to the Complaint on Alleged Official Corruption, Fraudulent Practices and Infraction of Due Process by the Vice Chancellor Professor Haruna Abdu Kaita dated 15th July, 2017.
Exhibit E2 is a copy of the endorsement copy of the letter dated 13th September, 2017 headed University Re: Organization.
And for the purpose of the argument of the Defence on the Certification of some documents which led the claimant to produce Remitta receipts to show that the Certification was paid for, the Federal University, Dutsin-ma receipt dated 1st June, 2018 and the remitta retrieval reference receipt are both admitted and marked as exhibits F and F1 respectively. On these last two exhibits it never seemed conceivable that pleaded documents that bore certification stamps on their faces would elicit drawn out arguments to warrant the production of the receipt ostensibly issued by the 2nd Defendant.
I had cause to go through the Court of Appeal decision in BIYE V. BIYE LPELR – 24 003 the 4th ratio relied on by the 1st 3rd 8th Defendant is on the need for payment for certification. In this case I have admitted exhibits F and F1 as shown to the Court by the claimant, I will not say anything further on them, it is left for counsel of either party to dwell further on them either in the course of Cross Examination or the address stage after hearing is concluded.
Ruling is entered accordingly
HON. JUSTICE E. D. E. ISELE