Court to decide on former NIA Ag DG’s suit over unlawful termination of appointment

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The National Industrial Court, NIC, Abuja will on October 12 deliver judgment in a suit filed by the sacked acting Director General of the National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Mohammed Dauda, challenging his purported dismissal from office by the agency.

Trial judge, Justice Olufunke Anuwee, fixed the date for judgment after listening to submissions of counsel in the matter.

In an originating summons filed through his counsel, Kanu Agabi, SAN, and marked NICN/ABJ/136/2018, Mr Dauda joined the Director-General, NIA and the NIA as first and second defendants respectively.

The defendants however filed a preliminary objection challenging the suit.

At the resumed hearing Tuesday, the court heard both the objections of the defendants and the substantive suit.

In the suit, Mr Dauda is challenging his sack and prayed the court to reinstate him.

The defendants through their counsel, Wale Adesokan, SAN, had filed a preliminary objection challenging the suit.

Mr Adesokan argued that the claimant did not follow the condition precedent before filing his suit.

He further argued that the claimant did not exhaust all the internal provisions for settlement of dispute.

He equally submitted that the NIA is an organisation with a principal, which is President Muhammadu Buhari and that not joining the president in the suit rendered the suit incompetent.

He however prayed the court to strike out the suit for lacking in merit.

Responding to the objection, counsel to Mr Dauda, Peter Erivwode from Kanu Agabi Chambers, argued that there was no specific time fixed by the law in which internal resolutions could be sought.

He added that the claimant had approached the court so as not to be caught by the three months provision in which an aggrieved civil servant has to file his case before the court.

On the submission of not joining the president, the claimant submitted that NIA is a creation of statute, and hence it can sue or be sued without joining the president.

He prayed the court to dismiss the objection and decided the substantive suit on its merit.

After listening to the objection, the court proceeded to hear the substantive suit.

In the substantive suit, the claimant prayed the court to determine whether the procedure adopted by the defendants in the process leading to his purported dismissal is in compliance with Article 8(1) and (2) of the National Securities Agency Act (CAPS 278) 1986.

In addition, he asked the court to determine whether the purported ‎letter dismissing him issued by the defendants on March 6, 2018 is not unlawful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

He submitted that if the answer to his questions are in the positive, then the court should know the procedure adopted by the defendants in the process leading to his dismissal falls short of the provisions of Articles 8(1) and (2) of the National Securities Agency Act (Cap 278 LFN) 1986 and is null and void.

Also, he prayed the court to declare that the purported letter of his dismissal issued by the defendants on March 6, 2018 is unlawful, null and void and of no effect whatsoever.

He, therefore, prayed for an order of court reinstating him as a Director and the Acting Director General of the NIA.

He also prayed the court for an order directing payment of his salaries and entitlements from the period of his unlawful dismissal to the point of his reinstatement.

After listening to all parties, the trial judge, Justice Anuwee, adjourned till October 12 for judgment.