11th July, 2019
The National Industrial Court, on Thursday, dismissed the case filed by one Mr Christopher Njoku against Nile University of Nigeria seeking payment of salaries and entitlements, for lacking in merit.
Delivering judgment, Justice Sanusi Kado, held that there was no valid contract of service between the claimant and the Institution, this he said had made the claimant not eligible to make claims for salaries.
Justice Kado also held that there was no validly accepted contract of service between the claimant and the defendant as a result of incomplete acceptance.
Kado said “a meticulous examination of the provisions of the last page of the letter of appointment, will in no doubt expose the fallacy of the claim of the claimant that he had fully and completely accepted the offer of appointment as Assistant Lecturer in the Department/Faculty of Mass communication.
“To this extent, the claimant has not resumed duty at the defendant as required by the terms, conditions, and agreement to govern his contract of employment with the claimant.
”The non-signing which is a condition precedent to the validity of the acceptance has rendered the acceptance of the offer of appointment inconclusive in view of the said defect in the acceptance of the contract.
“In view of this glaring finding, I hereby hold that there is no contract of employment between the claimant and the defendant to entitle the claimant to have his claims granted by this court.
”The reason for this decision is not farfetched. It is due to lack of definite acceptance which was as a result of non-signing and accepting the offer.”
The claimant from his Statement of facts stated that he was employed by the defendant on Aug.2, 2016 as a full-time lecturer.
He said from the time he assumed duty, he was never paid salary by the defendant.
He further averred that apart from his duty as a lecturer, that he also performed other job functions for the defendant.
The claimant therefore prayed the court to grant his various reliefs among which was an order of the court
compelling the defendant to pay his monthly salaries and employment benefits effect from 2016 until judgment was entered by the court.
He also sought for a declaration of the court that he was still an employee of the defendant.
The defendant in its Statement of defence agreed that the claimant was given employment, but that he did not completely accept the said employment and never assumed duty.
The defendant also stated that the condition precedent to acceptance of the offer by the claimant would have been his undergoing a lecture presentation interview, signing, countersigning of offer letter and documentation before resumption of duty- all of which the defendant submitted that the claimant failed to do.