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THE EMPLOYEE HAS BURDEN TO PLACE TERMS AND CONDITIONS THAT WAS BREACHED BY EMPLOYER

Dictum

The law is settled that in the determination of employment rights, it is the employee who complains that his employment contract has been breached that has the burden to place before the Court the terms and conditions of his employment that provide for his rights and obligations, see Okoebor v Police Council [2003] 12 NWLR (Pt 834) 444, Okomu Oil Palm Co v Iserhienrhien [2001] 6 NWLR (Pt. 710) 660 at 673, Idoniboye-Obe v. NNPC [2003] 2 NWLR (Pt. 805) 589 at 630. In furtherance of this the Claimant has placed before the Court his offer of employment (exhibit C1), staff handbook (exhibit C2), letter of promotion (exhibit C3), suspension letter (exhibit C7) letter of invitation to disciplinary committee (exhibit C8), letter of termination (exhibit C9), statement of account (exhibit C10), CBN operational guidelines for delisting (exhibit C11), and other service documents.

— O.A. Obaseki-Osaghae, J. Ejiro Peter Amratefa v. Access Bank (NICN/ABJ/106/2022, November 2, 2023)

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STATUTORY EMPLOYMENT IS GOVERNED BY STATUTE

A statutory employment is as a matter of course governed by statute and so also is the procedure for employment and discipline provided for in the statute. See Nigeria Institute of International Affairs v Mrs. T.O. Ayanfalu (SUPRA). — Adewemimo J. Afariogun v FUTA (2020) – NICN/AK/41/2017

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SCOPE OF EMPLOYER’S DUTY TO EMPLOYEE INCLUDES TAKING REASONABLE CARE

The law is of common that the scope of an employer’s duty to its employee to take reasonable care for the safety of his workman and other employee in the course of their employment, this duty extends in particular to the safety of place of work, the plant and machinery and the method and conduct of work. Duty of care as an act or omission, has its origin on the concept of foreseeability as decided in the old case of Heaven v. Pencher (1983) 11 QBD 503 at 509 where Bret M.R. said “Whenever one person is by circumstance placed in such a position with regard to another, that everyone of ordinary sense who did think would at once recognise that if he did not use ordinary care and skill in his own conduct with regard to the circumstances he would cause danger, injury to the person or property of the other, a duty arises to use ordinary care skill and avoid such danger.”

— O. Oyewumi, J. Aseidu v Japaul (2019) – NICN/AK/01/2016

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REPUDIATION BY ONE PARTY DOES NOT TERMINATE THE CONTRACT EXCEPT WHERE ACCEPTED

In Heyman v. Darwins Ltd. (1949) AC. 356, 361 Viscount Simon L.C. said, “But repudiation by one party standing alone does not terminate the contract. It takes two to end it, by repudiation on the one side, and acceptance of the repudiation on the other.” The proposition is founded on the elementary principles of the formation and discharge of contractual obligations. Where there is a unilateral repudiation of a contract, this is treated as an officer by the guilty part to the innocent party of the termination of the contract. It is the acceptance of the officer by the innocent party which acts as a discharge of the contract. – See Hochster H v. De La Tour (1853) 2 F& B. 678; Johnstone v. Milling (1886) 16 QBD 460. It is then open to the innocent party to sue only for damages since by his acceptance of the repudiation the contract comes to an end. Hence where the innocent party refuses to accept the repudiation the contract remains in existence.

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WHERE OFFICER HOLDS HIS OFFICE “AT PLEASURE”

Where an officer holds his office “at pleasure,” like was the case in Brown v. Dagenham Urban District Council (1929) 1 K.B. 737 at p.742 he can be dismissed at will in complete disregard of any purported contract whether verbal, or written or even under seal, because such contract will be incompatible with his status...

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COURT WILL NOT IMPOSE EMPLOYEE ON EMPLOYER

Ordinarily and consistent with the common law principle, the Court will not impose an employee on an employer. – Karibe-Whyte, JSC. Chukwumah v. SPDC (1993) Was this dictum helpful? Yes 0 No 0...

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CONCEPT OF EQUAL SALARY FOR EQUAL WORK

Para. 27: “In labour law, the concept of equal work for equal salary implies that two or several persons who carry out the same job occupy the same position in an organisation must earn the same remuneration and have the same prospects for promotion, except where the employer justifies a difference in treatment by objective factors not related to any form of discrimination. We hold that the objective of the principle of equal work for equal salary is to prohibit every form of discrimination between individuals who find themselves under the same condition.”

— Essien v. The Gambia (2007) – ECW/CCJ/JUD/05/07

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