The National Industrial Court of Nigeria has ordered the reinstatement of a lecturer of Ekiti State University, Ado Ekiti, Dr Ololade Aduwo, who was dismissed in December 2019 by the university authorities over an alleged sex scandal involving a female student, Rachel Olatosin.
This was contained in the Judgement of the industrial Court, Akure Division in the case with suit number NICN/AK/08/2020 filed by Aduwo against EKSU VC, EKSU Governing Council and the university over his dismissal from the employ of the institution for what he described as phantom sex allegation.
Justice Kiyersohok Damulak in the judgement delivered on February 8, 2023, declared that the dismissal of the claimant (Aduwo) from his appointment with the defendants (EKSU) by the letter of 5th December, 2019 is wrongful, null and void.”
The judge ordered “reinstating the claimant to his employment with full entitlements with the payment of his salaries and allowances from the date of dismissal to the date of judgment today, 8th February, 2023 and thereafter.”
The court also ordered EKSU to pay the claimant (Aduwo) the cost of N300,000.
The matter is about a case involving the female student, Olatosin, who had visited the lecturer at about 9pm on June 24, 2019, following which she opened her host’s doors to some others, who alongside her, in a viral video attacked and dehumanized the lecturer on an allegation that he wanted to have an affair with her.
Following the viral video circulated on social media platforms on the matter, EKSU set up an investigative committee to probe Aduwo and subsequently dismissed him.
But Aduwo, through his counsel, O.O Ayenakin and others, had approached the court seeking among others “a declaration that the dismissal of the claimant from his appointment with the defendants vide the letter of 5th December, 2019 but which was served on the claimant in February, 2020 is wrongful, illegal, null and void.”
Aduwo, who said his dismissal was flagrant violation of his condition of service, had also sought “an order reinstating him to his employment with full entitlements with the payment of his salaries and allowances from the date of dismissal to the date of judgment and thereafter.”
The lecturer had also sought “an order directing the defendants to publish an advertorial of apology to the claimant in at least three national newspapers in Nigeria”.
Aduwo had told the court that he was not given fair hearing before the investigative committee and all the committees of the defendants and as well alleged that the committees did not follow due process.
But EKSU, which said it followed due process with the investigative and other committees, said the lecturer did not request to cross-examine the female student or any other witness when he appeared before the panel.
The judge held that Aduwo was not given fair hearing as there was “no indication that the panel gave the claimant the opportunity to cross-examine the witnesses and he declined” as he faulted the committees, saying, “It is clear that the composition of the investigative panel fell short of the requirement of the law.”