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FEDERAL CIVIL SERVICE EMPLOYMENT ARE NOT AT PLEASURE OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

Dictum

I will hasten to say that it will be a contradiction in terms for a citizen of a Republic, such as Nigeria, to hold his office at the pleasure of the Crown. Which Crown We have no Crown here and public Servants in the established and pensionable cadre of the Federal Government Service are not regarded as employed at the pleasure of the Federal Government. This point was first made in Bashir Alade Shitta-Bey v. The Federal Public Service Commission (1981) 1 SC. 40 at pp. 57/58.

— A. Oputa, JSC. Olaniyan & Ors. v. University of Lagos (1985) – SC.53/1985

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DUTY OF CLAIMANT TO PROVE CONTRACT OF EMPLOYMENT

It is the well settled position of law that a contract of employment is the bedrock upon which all employment relationships are formed and an aggrieved employee bears the evidential burden to place before the court his contract of employment and show in what way the terms and conditions were breached by the defendant. See F.M.C. Ido-Ekiti & Ors. v Alabi (2011) LPELR 4148 (CA).

— Adewemimo J. Afariogun v FUTA (2020) – NICN/AK/41/2017

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ESTOPPED WHEN SALARY PAYMENT IS IN CONTINUANCE

Ondo State University v. Folayan (1994) 7 NWLR (Pt. 667) page 34 at page 61, the university had appointed Dr. Folayan for a probationary period of three years. Without extending the tenure of Dr. Folayan, they continued to use his services and pay him his salaries for three years. The Supreme Court held that the university was estopped from contending that the employment had come to an end at the end of the three years probationary period.

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EMPLOYMENT GOVERNED BY STATUTE & THAT NOT GOVERNED BY STATUTE

In the case of BENIN ELECTRICITY DISTRIBUTION COMPANY PLC. v. ESEALUKA (2013) LPELR-20159(CA) where the court held that: “There is no doubt that there is a vast difference between an employment with statutory flavor in which case the terms of employment of that staff is governed by the statute creating that organization and any infraction of the terms of employment and discipline as guaranteed by the statute is bound to be declared null and void. That is illegal dismissal, where it occurs. In such situations the employee is restored to the position as if no disciplinary measures had been taken at all. See Dr. Taiwo Oloruntoba-Oju & Ors. v. Prof. Shuaib O. Abdul-Raheem & Ors. (2009) 13 NWLR Pt.1157 Pg.83; Bamgboye v. University of Ilorin (1999) 10 NWLR Pt.622 Pg.290. However, where the relationship is not governed by statute and there is infraction of the terms of employment and dismissal by the employer such infraction is merely wrongful and not null and void. The employee can only claim damages for breach of contract and cannot claim arrears of salary and reinstatement. See Eze v. Spring Bank (2011) 12 SC Pt.1 Pg.173; Joseph Ifeta v. SPDC Nig. Ltd. (2006) 8 NWLR Pt.983 Pg.585.” Per OGUNWUMIJU, J.C.A. (Pp.32-33, Paras.B-F).

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NO STATUTORY FLAVOUR; WHERE CONTRACT DETERMINED BY AGREEMENT BETWEEN PARTIES

Fakuade v. O.A.U.T.H.C.M.B. (1993) 5 NWLR (Pt. 291) 47 where Karibi-Whyte JSC stated at page 63: “The character of an appointment and status of the employer in respect thereof is determined by the legal character and the contract of the employee. Hence where the contract of appointment is determinable by the agreement of the parties, simpliciter, there is no question of the contract having a statutory flavour. The fact that the other contracting party is the creation of a statute did not make any difference.”

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CONTRACT OF SERVICE COMES TO AN END WHERE EMPLOYEE ACCEPTS REPUDIATION

The contract of service comes to an end after the unilateral repudiation only if the employee accepts the repudiation expressly or by implication. – See Gunton v. Richmond-upon-Thames London Borough Council (1981) AC. at p. 464 and Decro-Wall International S.A. v. Practitioners in Marketing Ltd. (1971) 1 WLR. at pp. 369-370 per Salmon L. J.

— A.G. Karibe-Whyte, JSC. Olaniyan & Ors. v. University of Lagos (1985) – SC.53/1985

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