THE National Industrial Court (NIC), Abuja has upturned the suspension of the former Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Prof. Greg Nwakoby.
Nwakoby was suspended and placed on half salary by Council, following the allegation that he maligned their members. The reinstated professor of law reportedly accused some Council members of subverting his victory in the race to clinch the Vice Chancellorship of the Institution.
In reaction, the Council suspended him and he approached the NIC, through his counsel, Mr. P. A. Afuba in suit No NICN/ABJ/217/2014, praying for a judicial review of the suspension and an order of certiorari.
The 1st and 2nd respondents were the University and the University governing council respectively. The University through their counsel, Mr. O.J. Nnadi (SAN) opposed the application, but their prayers were dismissed.
In setting aside the action of the respondents, the trial judge, Justice P.O Lifu said: “The decision of the 2nd respondent in its 94th meeting suspending the applicant resulting in the issuance of the letter of August 8, 2014 are hereby set aside for being in breach of the principles of fair hearing as enshrined in section 36 of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
“The decision of the 2nd respondent placing the applicant on half salary and referring the case to the joint committee of the senate and council including the composition of the committee is accordingly quashed and or set aside. I make no order as to cost.”
He held that the applicant was not giving the opportunity for fair hearing, adding that the 2nd respondent conducted preliminary investigation in the applicant’s absence without fair hearing and went ahead to suspend him.