Industrial Court nullifies dismissal of Corporal Ajala from Nigerian Army, orders reinstatement

Industrial Court nullifies dismissal of Corporal Ajala from Nigerian Army, orders reinstatement

February 25, 2022 Uncategorized 0

The Presiding Judge, Makurdi Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Isaac Essien has nullified the purported dismissal of Corporal Ajala Tajudeen on 11th December 2017 from the Nigerian Army; ordered the Chief of Army Staff to re-call and reinstate him back to the Service.

Justice Essien held that the commanding officer erred in law for imposing sentence of reduction in rank and dismissal to Corporal Ajala outside the purview of punishment stipulated in sections 57 and 104 of the Armed Forces Act.

From facts, the Nigerian Army had submitted that an investigation was conducted by the Military Police into the alleged misconduct committed by Corporal Ajala and the panel recommended that be charged with disobedience to standing order and assault.

The Command based on the recommendation of the Legal Unit, summarily charged, tried and convicted Corporal Ajala of the two counts and awarded the punishment of reduction in rank to Corporal for disobedience and was dismissed on the offense of assault.

In opposition, Corporal Ajala averred that the alleged offense on whose he was tried cannot be done by summary trial and the punishment does not attract his dismissal from service, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.

Counsel to the Nigerian Army argued that the summary trial and consequential dismissal of Corporal Ajala from the Nigerian Army was in accordance with laid down legal procedures and extant law, urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety.

Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding Judge, Hon. Justice Isaac Essien held that by the express specific provisions of the Armed Forces Act 2004, the offense which Corporal Ajala was charged ought to have been tried by a court-martial and not by a summary trial.

The Court held that the trial of Corporal Ajala by summary trial was in violation of the Armed Forces Act.

Justice Essien awarded the sum of N500,000 as general damages and the sum of N250,000 cost of action against the Chief of Army Staff and Nigerian Army.

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