1

WHETHER AN EMPLOYER CAN BE COMPELLED TO PROMOTE ITS EMPLOYEE

header NEW

CASE TITLE: SYLVESTER C. NWOYE v. FEDERAL AIRPORTS AUTHORITY OF NIGERIA (2019) LPELR-46402(SC)

JUDGMENT DATE: 18TH JANUARY, 2019

PRACTICE AREA: LABOUR LAW

LEAD JUDGMENT: AMIRU SANUSI, J.S.C.

SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT:

INTRODUCTION

This appeal borders on Labour Law.

FACTS

This appeal is against the judgment of the Court of Appeal, Ekiti division delivered on 20th day of January, 2012.

Appellant, who was a staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), joined the services of the Authority on 5th May 1980 as an Assistant Technical Officer on grade level 06. The appointment was confirmed and he rose through the ranks up to Grade Level 13 and the position of Assistant Chief Electrical Superintendent (ACES) in the cadre of senior staff as at 1999. As part of the perks of office as a senior member of staff, he was allocated official accommodation in the Respondent’s staff quarters. According to him, for no justifiable reason, the respondent began to withhold his salaries and emoluments and prevented him from carrying out his official assignments. When he made a demand for his salaries and emoluments to be paid, the respondent threatened to evict him from his official accommodation. He therefore instituted an action at the High Court of Enugu State, where he sought and was granted an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the respondent from evicting him. He also sought some declaratory and injunctive main reliefs. He added other reliefs in the alternative.

At the conclusion of the trial, the learned trial Judge granted reliefs 1, 3 and 5 and refused reliefs 2 and 4. The respondent appealed against the decision to the Court of Appeal, Ado-Ekiti Division. The appellant was also dissatisfied with the failure of the learned trial Judge to grant reliefs 2 and 4 and filed a cross appeal. A preliminary objection was raised in respect of respondent’s appeal. The Court of Appeal found the objection to have been well founded and struck out the respondent’s appeal. Thereafter the Court considered the appellant’s cross-appeal. It held that the learned trial Judge was right not to have granted reliefs 2 and 4 and declined to invoke its powers under Section 15 of the Court of Appeal Act to grant the said reliefs. It however granted relief (I) of the alternative reliefs. Not pleased, appellant appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES FOR DETERMINATION

The Court determined the appeal on the following issues:

“1. Whether the lower Court has jurisdiction to consider or determine the alternative reliefs (i) and (ii) of the Amended Statement of Claim of the Appellant when there was no appeal on the alternative reliefs.

  1. Whether the lower Court was right in law to uphold the refusal of the trial Court to grant reliefs two (2) and four (4) of the Appellant’s Amended Statement of Claim or decline to grant same when both the trial Court and the lower Court have the jurisdiction to grant both reliefs.
  2. Whether the lower Court was right in law to hold that the Appellant is entitled to his retirement benefits when the Appellant has not been retired from the service of the Respondent.
  3. Whether the lower Court was right to hold in its judgment that Exhibits M, N, O, P and Q were rightly admitted in evidence by the trial Court when the said exhibits are inadmissible in law.”
  4. DECISION/HELD

Unanimously, the Apex Court found no merit in the appeal and accordingly dismissed same

RATIOS:

  • LABOUR LAW- EMPLOYER/EMPLOYEE RELATIONSHIP: Whether an employer can be compelled to promote its employee
  • EVIDENCE- DOCUMENTARY EVIDENCE: Whether objection can be raised on appeal to documentary evidence admitted without objection at the trial Court
  • COURT- POWER OF COURT: Power of the Court of Appeal to consider alternative relief

lawpavilion • February 12, 2019


Previous Post

Next Post

Comments

  1. Nwoye Emenike March 17, 2019 - 10:42 am Reply

    The fact of the matter in this case was never stated. Firstly, Engr Sylvester Nwoye got a fake retirement letter year 1999, which firstly is a fraud in the institution of FAAN. The said letter of retirement was cooked by his colleagues just after he was promoted from grade level 10 to 13. Only for him to find out years later while seeking to get his benefits of retirement that he actually wasn’t retired. A man who still had 15years more in civil service and has worked meritoriously for 20years. Secondly, since the court has determined that he wasn’t justly retired, isn’t it just for the court to grant him his prayer after pursuing justice for 20 years in the court to then be paid his retirement benefits at an appropriate grade level where he should have been. Justice was never served if after determining that he wasn’t retired in the first instance, he is still made to go home empty handed after 20 years of seeking justice from 1999 to 2019.

Leave a Reply