Industrial Court Orders Return of Official Vehicles to Ex-Registrar

National Industrial Court

The National Industrial Court sitting in Lagos last Wednesday ordered the return of official vehicles seized from a former Registrar of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, AOCOED, ( formerly Lagos State College of Education), Ijanikin, Mr Olumuyiwa Coker.

Coker  had urged the court to issue a restraining order against the defendant or its agents from taking possession of his official vehicles-Toyota Camry with registration number BF 741 EPE and the Toyota Hilux vehicle with registration number BDG 218 DK or prevent him using the vehicles.

His prayer was granted when the court in February restrained authorities of the college from harassing or intimidating Coker.

The order was however allegedly violated in August when officials of the school in company with policemen retrieved the vehicles from Coker’s residence.

The presiding judge, Justice Jibade Peters gave the order in a suit filed by Coker challenging his ‘illegal’ disengagement’ from the college and subsequent withdrawal of his official vehicles.

The judge ordered that the vehicles should be returned to Coker on or before November 3, 2017.

Coker said his unlawful disengagement from the college, was in violation of Section 33 of the Lagos State College of Education Law.

In the suit, the first defendant is AOCOED is represented by the Provost, Mrs Omolola Aina-Ladele, while the second defendant is the Governor of Lagos State.

In the suit filed by his counsel, Mutiu Ganiyu of Smithworth Partners, the claimant averred that his purported removal from office by the first defendant was also done in violation of the terms of his letter of appointment dated 25th of June, 2014, which stipulates among other matters that his tenure was for the period of five years commencing from July 20, 2014.

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He claimed that he was purportedly removed from his position as Registrar of the college without any prior warning on any occasion.

The claimant also averred that the first defendant breached his right to fair hearing as enshrined in Section 36 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended.

The claimant urged the court to declare that he is still the Registrar and Secretary of the Governing Council of the first defendant and cannot be removed from the office in accordance with the provision of Section 33 of the Lagos State College of Education Law.

The defendants, in an affidavit deposed by the Senior Assistant Registrar of the institution, Ombugadu Adewunmi averred that the compulsory retirement of the claimant was in compliance with Section 33 of the Lagos State College of Education Law and chapter three of Conditions of Service of the college.

Also in a counter claim, the defendants averred that the seizure and refusal of the claimant to return his official vehicles had largely grounded the activities of the office of the Registrar, particularly his movement.

The case was adjourned to November 8, for further hearing.

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