FOOTWEAR, LEATHER AND RUBBER PRODUCTS WORKERS OF NIGERIA AND MANAGEMENT OF ZENITH PLASTIC INDUSTRY LIMITED (NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT) HON. JUSTICE (CHIEF) P.A. ATILADE - PRESIDENT M.A. BORISADE, ESQ. - MEMBER B.N. OBUA, ESQ - MEMBER SUIT NO: - NIC/18/86 DATE OF JUDGMENT - FRIDAY, 22ND JULY, 1988. LABOUR LAW - Reinstatement of worker - When court will refuse to order. LABOUR LAW - Termination of appointment - Reasons for termination of a worker's appointment - Allegation as part thereof -Whether employer can rely on hearsay evidence to include reasons to terminate a worker's appointment. LABOUR LAW - Termination of appointment - Right of employer to terminate worker's appointment with due notice after paying him proper entitlements - Exercise of - Attitude of court thereto. LABOUR LAW - Punishment of worker - Worker who has been pardoned -Issue which has been settled - Whether employer can subsequently recall same and punish worker therefor. ISSUES: Whether termination of appointment of Mr. Umoh was wrongful, and whether the Court can in the circumstances order his reinstatement. FACTS: The Respondent terminated the appointment of one of their workers, Mr. Umoh, who was a member of the Appellant. In the letter of termination of appointment given to Mr. Umoh, the Respondent relied on certain allegation made against him on the basis of hearsay evident. The Respondent also relied on some previous issues between it and Mr. Umoh, which had been settled, as part of the reasons for terminating his appointment. The Appellant felt aggrieved by the management's action and declared a trade dispute, which was referred to the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) for arbitration, and the IAP gave its Award. The Appellant was not happy with the IAP award on the issues of wrongful termination of Mr. Umoh's appointment and the demand for his reinstatement, and objected to the award. Consequently, the dispute was referred to the National Industrial Court for adjudication. HELD: (Declining to order reinstatement, but granting payment of entitlements): 1. On Whether employer can rely on hearsay evidence of an allegation to terminate employee's appointment - Management should not rely on hearsay evidence to include an allegation as part of the reasons to the reasons to terminate an employee's appointment. 2. On Need for final warning to be given before termination of appointment is resorted to¬ It is common place that query and answer exercise often terminates with a final warning which, if not heeded, could result to determination of a worker’s appointment. In this case, there was no final warning before termination was resorted to. 3. On Whether employer can rely on a settled issue as a basis for punishing a worker- Where, after a worker's reply to a query, the management pardoned him, the management cannot later on recall such previous issue which has been settler as a basis to punish the worker. In the instant case, throughout the period of query and answer between management and Mr. Umoh, no final warning was issued to him. Therefore, the management should have limited itself to the last issue rather than recall previous issues, which had been settled. 4. On Attitude of court to valid termination of a worker's appointment - The court will not disturb the termination of a worker's employment where management has exercised its right to terminate the worker's employment with due notice and after paying him the proper entitlements. However, the Court will ensure that the entitlements of such worker are fully paid. 5. On When court will refuse reinstatement of a worker - The court will not order the reinstatement of a worker if it feels that no purpose will be served by such an order in the circumstances of a particular case.