Court Orders DSS To Reinstate Unjustly Sacked Officer, And To Pay Him N500k Damage

The Yenagoa, Balyesa State dvision of the National Industrial Court (NICN) has set aside the purported sack of Mr. Vincent Amaino, by the Department of State Security (DSS).

The court presided over by Justice Bashar Alkali, apart from setting aside the said sack of Vincent, also ordered the secret police to pay him the sum of N500, 000, as general damages.

Justice Alkali in his judgment held the DSS ought to have waited for the Police to finish with the prosecution of Vincent, that the dismissal for a criminal allegation prior to the conviction cannot be clothed with legality even though Mr. Vincent can be tried for misconduct while the criminal trial is ongoing.

Justice Alkali ruled that Mr. Vincent’s employment termination cannot stand for being wrongful as there is no evidence that the DSS complied with the provisions of the Public Service Rules.

The judge however, dismissed Vincent’s claim for payment of salaries and entitlement from the date he was dismissal till date, for lack of proof.

During the trial of the suit, the claimant had told the court that he was wrongly arrested alongside three other persons on April 13, 2011, for allegedly possessed firearms unlawfully and that while the alleged offence was being investigated by the Police, his employer, the DSS took him from the Police custody and before the Orderly room trial, his warrant card was withdrawn and he was dismissed in a bid to release him to face a criminal charge.

Vincent also told the court that he was charged along with 3 others in 2011 and was discharged and acquitted of all counts, and that all efforts to get reinstated back to service proved abortive.

However, his employer did not file any to defense the suit, but relied on the Vincent’s case.. 

Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties and careful perusal of all exhibits tendered, Justice Alkali held that the dismissal of the claimant, Vincent Amaino, from the service of the DSS is unconnected to the allegation of crime in which he was exculpated. 

Justice Alkali ruled that Vincent’s employment with the DSS enjoys statutory flavour, and cannot be brought to an end in disobedience to the Public Service Rules and SSS Regulations.

The judge also held that Vincent’s dismissal is illegal and void for the failure of the DSS to prove the reasons stated in the letter of dismissal.

“The Claimant was alleged to have committed a criminal offence, the criminal allegation against the Claimant by the Nigeria Police Force led to the detention of the Claimant. The defendants ought to have waited for the police to finish with the prosecution of the Claimant for criminal charges before dismissing the Claimant. 

“Dismissal for a criminal allegation prior to the conviction cannot be clothed with legality even though the claimant can be tried for misconduct while the criminal trial is ongoing.”

Source-: NICN