The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, on Wednesday, fixed Nov.15 for adoption of final written addresses in a suit filed against the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority Administration (OGFZAA).
Justice Olufunke Anuwe fixed the date after OGFZAA, the sole defendant in the suit, closed its case after calling its only witness, who is the General Manager, Administration of the organisation, Mr Alenju Ngofa.
Ngofa, while being led in evidence by the defence counsel, Michael Ajara, told the court that he knew the plaintiff, Funmilayo Omosule, a manager with OGFZAA, who was alleged to have been suspended unlawfully by the organisation.
He told the court that the plaintiff, who was employed in 2008, was suspended on April 18, 2011 for not presenting her original credentials for verification.
The defence  counsel, while tendering the witness’ statement on oath, along with some documentary evidence, urged the court to dismiss the plaintiff’s suit.
During a cross examination by the plaintiff’s counsel, Dr Tunji Abayomi, the witness’ attention was drawn to a letter from the organisation where-in the plaintiff was asked to present his original certificates and credentials which he submitted when he joined the organisation.
Abayomi also referred the court to a letter written by the plaintiff to the Managing Director of the organisation to the effect that he submitted Certified True Copies (CTC) of his credentials when he was employed and even attached another set of the CTCs of his credentials as requested and yet, was unlawfully suspended.
The witness said he was not aware of any response to the plaintiff’s letter as he didn’t see the said letter.
He, however, admitted that the plaintiff, along with three other staff of the organisation submitted the original of their credentials to the Admin Department of the agency, but were directed to send them to the Board Secretariat, which directed them to do so.
Justice Anuwe, while adjourning the matter, directed parties in the suit to file their final written addresses in line with the rules of the court for adoption at the next adjourned date.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Omosule and OGFZAA had been locked in a fierce legal battle to resolve the legality or otherwise of his suspension, following his petition against some management staff of the agency on alleged corruption.
OGFZAA had, via a letter dated April 18, 2011, suspended Omosule as the manager of its Abuja office on the grounds that he had refused to comply with its letter dated December 3, 2010, which had directed him to present the originals of his credentials for verification.
Omosule, however, refuted the claim of the authority, stating that he made available to the defendant CTCs of his educational certificates/credentials, including GCE ‘O Level certificates and degree certificates as instructed.
Omosule had claimed that the originals of his credentials were misplaced in untraceable circumstances as at 2010 when the report to submit originals was made.
The claimant also averred that the CTCs of his certificates submitted to the defendant were certified by the issuing institutions, which included the West African Examination Council (WAEC) and the University of Ado-Ekiti, then Ondo State University, Ado Ekiti, respectively.
The claimant is seeking the court‘s declaration that he was still a staff of the organisation and entitled to all the rights, privileges and benefits due to him by reason of his employment.
He is praying the court for an order directing the defendant to reinstate him to the position of a director, on grade level 17, a position he claimed his contemporaries were holding currently.
Omosule is equally seeking the order of the court to direct the defendant to pay all his outstanding salaries, benefits and entitlement since 2011 and to also order the defendant to pay him the sum of N50 million as exemplary and general damages.(NAN)

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Source: news