From Tony Osauzo, Benin
The Benin Division of the Court of Appeal has struck out the notice of Appeal filed by the Independent Corrupt Practices And Other Related Offences Commission challenging the reinstatement of one of its staff, Rhiuyiosa Albert Osarumwense.
Justice Oyebiola Oyewumi of the National Industrial Court, Akure, had in February 2020, ordered the ICPC and its Commission Chairman to immediately reinstate Edo State-born Albert Osarumwense which the court held was wrongfully dismissed by the Commission in October 2015.
In the suit number NICN/BEN/01/2016, Justice Oyewumi ruled that the nature of employment of Albert Osarumwense is one with statutory flavour, adding that Osarumwense is entitled to be paid all his salary and other allowances from the month of October 2015 when his employment was determined till the day of his reinstatement.
Delivering his judgment in Appeal No: CA/B/44M/2021, Justice M. A, Danjuma of the Court of Appeal, held that the ICPC was not ready to go on with its appeal and therefore dismissed it.
In the certified copy of the ruling signed by the Chief Deputy Registrar of the Court of Appeal, Adaeze Oby Aziwe Esq., the Judge said “That the non-compilation of the Record of Appeal nor its transmission up to this time and in spite of service of a Hearing Notice for the case today and still without any response indicating the existence of any such application for the discretionary respite of elongation of time to so compiling and transmit Record of Appeal towards prosecution clearly strengthens the fact that there is no desire to prosecute the Appeal left as a sword of damage in the clog of a subsisting Judgment as alleged by the Applicant in his affidavit to the Motion.
“That Notice of Appeal is struck out and the Appeal dismissed pursuant to Order 8 Rule 18 of the Court of Appeal Rules. 2016”.
Reacting to the judgment, Counsel to Osarumwense, Olayiwola Afolabi, said “The court of Appeal has dismissed their case and one thing is clear, the Court of Appeal is the last bus stop when it comes to labour matters, they can’t go to Supreme.”
He expressed optimism that ICPC would comply with the ruling of the Court as the Commission is headed by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) “who knows the law.”