Illegal dismissal: Federal College of Education Potiskum suffers defeat, to pay student N300,000

The Federal High Court in Damaturu has ordered Federal College of Education and Technical Potiskum to pay a student, Abbati Saidu the cost of N300,000.00 for illegal dismissal.

Hon. Justice Isah Hamma Adama Dasham, gave the judgement on Tuesday.

The judgement upholding   a Lawyer by name Mas'ud Ibrahim Wakili Jauro from B. M. Salihu & Co. Potiskum Yobe State who dragged the school before the Federal High Court in Damaturu on behalf of a student Abbati Saidu early this year by way of Originating Summons for the determination of some questions;

1. Whether or not the Plaintiff (student) has exceeded his maximum 10 semesters required for the completion of his course in the institution going by the provision of Chapter 11 item 7 of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) minimum standard 2012 edition.

2. Whether or not the provision of the Federal College of Education (Establishment) Act Cap F8 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004 or Chapter 11 item 7 of the National Commission for Colleges of Education (NCCE) minimum standard 2012 edition have in anyway made any provision that vest the College with the authority to count the rustication period of the plaintiff (student) as part of his 10 semester threshold despite being on suspension.

The borne of contention was solely on two different conflicting letters that were served on the student on two different occasions.

First is a letter of rustication/suspension for one academic session 2016/2017. The said letter equally directs the plaintiff to report, resume, register and continue with his studies in the 2017/2018 academic session after serving his punishment of rustication/suspension for period of one academic session i.e 2016/2017.

Second, is a letter withdrawing the plaintiff from the college after he has reported, resumed, register and passed all his courses.

The defendant has caculated the rustication period which is 2016/2017 as part of the 10 Semester threshold of the plaintiff in the College.

The plaintiff who was admitted into the college in the 2012/2013 academic session has a maximum of 10 semester threshold which should lapse by 2016/2017 academic session but the said 2016/2017 being the period he served punishments shouldn't be counted as part of his maximum 10 semester threshold.

In essence, 2017/2018 should be considered as his final lap rather than 2016/2017 since he was off the college completely for the particular period.

Counsel for the plaintiff M. I. W. Jauro Esq. While addressing Neptune Prime has this to say: It is a slippery slope right from the beginning when I saw the two conflicting letters. In the face of injustice we must stand and fight, that is why we study law, that is why we are lawyers.

Dasham, while delivering his Judgement on Tuesday, 6th July 2020, ordered the College to issue all the relevant certificates indicating that the plaintiff has completed his studies at the defendant's institution and equally awarded the cost of N300,000.00 (Three hundred thousand naira) against the defendant.

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