The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NCIN) sitting in Kano has ordered for the reinstatement of Professor Haruna Abdu Kaita as the Vice Chancellor of the Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State.
Alternatively, the court asked the defendants, the Governing Council of the University, to pay him the sum of N200 million as damages.
Delivering the judgement in Kano, Justice David Ebele Isele, ruled that due process was not followed in the suspension and termination of Professor Kaita’s appointment.
It will be recalled that Professor Kaita was suspended and subsequently his appointment was terminated by the Governing Council of the Federal University Dutsin-Ma over allegations of misconducts.
Professor Kaita thereafter went to court in 2017 to challenge the action of the council.
On the premise of the failure of the defendants to observe the principle of fair hearing before the suspension and subsequent termination of Professor Kaita’s appointment, the court declared the decision of the defendants as null and void.
Justice Isele further declared that Professor Kaita remains the Vice Chancellor of the University and is entitled to serve the lost period of his tenure, as he was forced to leave office illegally.
He ruled that, failure of the defendants to reinstate Professor Kaita as Vice Chancellor of the university, they are to therefore pay him the sum of N200 million as damages for wrongful termination of his appointment.
The defendants were also ordered by the court to pay Professor Kaita all his salaries and other entitlements.
When contacted, counsel of the defendants, Barrister Fatima Abubakar, said it is true that the court has ruled in favour of the appellants, but the specifics of the judgment will be known when she obtains the copy of the ruling.
She said: “The summary is that a judgment was delivered against my clients. It is true that the court has ordered for his reinstatement or alternatively he should be paid certain amount of money. I can’t say how much is the money until I get the judgment.”