IN THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT OF NIGERIA
IN THE KANO JUDICIAL DIVISION
HOLDEN AT KANO
Before His Lordship:-
HON. JUSTICE E.D. E ISELE - JUDGE
DATE: 12TH MARCH, 2020 - SUIT NO: NICN/KN/46/2018
YUSUF ABDULLAHI MUHAMMED …………………………….CLAIMANT
1. ZAMFARA STATE MINISTRY OF HEALTH
2. CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION ZAMFARA STATE DEFENDANTS
3. AHMAD GUSAU ZABARMA, HEAD OF
REPRESENTATION: claimant present
M.S Suleiman Deputy Director
Civil litigation ministry of Justice Zamfara State
The claimant, who seeks to represent himself in person in this suit filed the complaint herein on the 28th December, 2018 in which he claims the following:
i. DECLARATION that the Defendant acted wrongfully, unlawfully by not (sic) given the claimant the mandatory right to fair hearing, notice or payment in lieu of termination.
ii. DECLARATION that the claimant is entitled to termination of employment benefit/entitlement for the service he rendered to the Defendants in accordance with the conditions of service, terms of employment and (sic) extent laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
iii. AN ORDER of this Honourable Court that the claimant (sic) with the paid sum of N1,300,000.00 (One Million Three Hundred Thousand Naira Only) being his salaries in accordance with the extent laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
iv. An Order of this court directing the defendants to pay the claimant the sum of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira Only) as special damages, aggravated damages, breach of right to fair hearing, see (sic) a case of ADEBOTUN BABALOLA V. UNIVERSITY OF EKITI STATE (no citation given).
v. An Order of this Honourable Court in accordance to the court Rules his (sic) relies may be by alternative the said amount mentioned earlier or to sponsor his study to one of the British country as the result of (sic) delayance caused to his study’s process.
vi. An Order of this Honourable court directing the defendants to pay the claimant the sum of N50,000.00 (Fifty Thousand Naira Only) as cost for prosecution of this suit.
The writ was accompanied by a statement of facts, witness statement on Oath as well as a list of witness and a list of exhibits
On the 17th of January, 2019 the Defendant entered a memorandum of conditional appearance and also filed a Notice of Preliminary Objection. The grounds of which are:
1. The suit did not disclose any cause of action against the defendants/Applicants
2. That there was no any contract of employment between the defendants/applicants and the claimants.
3. That this Honourable Court lacks jurisdiction to entertain the suit.
In the affidavit in support of the notice of preliminary objection the deponent averred that the Defendants did not employ the claimant as a labourer and they had never had contract with him and they never gave the claimant a notification of appointment as a clearer. The deponent also averred that the Defendant never gave the claimant a confirmation of appointment and the 2nd Defendant never gave the claimant a permanent and pensionable appointment. That the 3rd Defendant did not remove the name of the claimant from the payroll of the Zamfara State Civil Service.
In the written address in support of the preliminary objection, a sole issue was formulated for determination i.e:
“Whether or not looking at the process filed by the claimant a cause of action had arisen.
The claimant in response filed a reply on points of law in response to the notice of preliminary objection in which he mustered arguments that the Notice of preliminary objection should be questioned. Now the objectors had in the argument in support of the sole issue they formulated for determination had argued that a look at paragraphs 7,8,9,10 and 11 of the claimants statement of fact which is his pleadings, did not establish a cause of against the Defendants. That it is the general principle of law that where pleadings do not disclose any cause of action against the defendants, the only prayer that could be sought is for an order striking out the suit against the party. That in a suit that does not disclose a cause of action no award can be justifiably made in law to cover a period when the cause of action had not arisen, citing the case of IGHEDO V. POWER HOLDING COMPANY NIG. PLLC (2018) EJSC (Vol 88) 131 at 138 to 139. (The authority not supplied)
In coming to a decision whether the preliminary objection succeeds or not it is necessary to look at the averments at paragraphs 7,8,9,10 and 11 of the claimants pleadings. And not only is that he entire statement of facts here under reproduced:
1. The claimant is a citizen of Nigerian residing at Gusau Local Government area of Zamfara State.
2. The Respondents are, Zamfara state ministry of health, state civil service commission, and verification committee head Ahmad Gusau Zabarma all are residing in Zamfara state in Gusau Local Government area.
3. The respondents are committed the actionable wrong contrary to the Zamfara State Civil Service Rules see also a case of OLANIYAN V. UNIVERSITY OF LAGOS STATE (1985) 2 NWLR (PT.9) 599 (SC).
Certificate. The copy of the said certificate is here to attached the marked as exhibit.
4. That contrary to Zamfara state Government Civil Rule my employment have been terminated.
5. That they did so in order to meet their political ambition
6. That no any lawful order they relied to terminatate the said employment
7. That I elicited one fact by Yahuza Salisu to say that is no woman earning the salary
8. That he who unlawfully apply his power politically or administratively transferred the job another person ought to be liable in damages
9. That they did so in order to destroy my studies plan in future
10. That the wrongful act committed by them destroyed all my plans
11. That I presumed some people join together to commit the wrongful act.
12. That since they terminated my salary to date my life have been twisted and frustrated since then
13. That I am successfully qualified to apply for the said employment
14. That there is serious urgency in this application due to the lack of fully health to the applicant
15. It will be in the interest of justice to grant this application as prayed
16. That the respondent should not be prejudice
17. That the respondent should not be prejudice
18. That leave of this honourable court is needed to apply for the enforcement of my said fundamental right by wrongful termination form civil service.
19. That the documents containing a statement setting out my name and reliefs sought and ground upon which the reliefs sought is here with attached and marked as exhibit.
20. That affidavits verifying that acts are also here with annex and marked as exhibit
21. That I dispose to my affidavit good faith sincerely and consciously believing the content to be true and correct and in accordance with oath and affirmation act
22. That when I received the letters I can’t be withdrawn or to be terminate from the civil service without been herded query or reduction from my salary deferment or with holding in accordance with state civil servant rules.
23. That I am also with copy of public complain letter which I lodged a complain there in.
24. That fact admitted had been uttered by their agent who is the third respondent
i. That this Honourable Court of Justice may opportune the applicant to be heard with oral submission in accordance to order 10 of the Court Rules and Section 25 of the Evidence Act 2011 as amended
ii. That this Honourable Court may apply its original civil jurisdiction virtue os section 254 (c) of the constitution of the Federal of Nigeria (Third Alteration Act 2010) and section 7 of the Court Act.
In addition to the above, the claimant deposed to a witness statement on oath. He also filed along document he seeks to rely on which he headed as list of exhibits. These exhibits are:
1. Provisional offer
2. Confirmation offer
3. Permanent and pensionable offer
4. First appointment offer
5. Copy of Public complaint commission letter
6. Request of additional staffs letter
7. Primary and secondary certificate endorsed when applying for employment
I have worked through each and every document as listed out above and as frontloaded. And right away, I find and do hold that on the face of the documents the claimant has shown that there is a cause of action in this matter and I so hold. I find and hold further that the court is clothed with jurisdiction to hear and determine this matter as provided under section 254c (1) of the 1999 constitution as amended. The preliminary objection is hereby struck out and the case is to proceed to hearing.
In addition to the above, section 36 (1) of the same 1999 constitution provides:
“in the determination of his civil rights and obligations including any question or determination by or against any government or authority, a person shall be entitled to a fair hearing within a reasonable time by a court or other tribunal established by law and constitution in such manner as to secure its independence and impartiality.”
Ruling is entered accordingly and the case adjourned for hearing to 7th May 2020 for hearing.
HON. JUSTICE E. D. E. ISELE