Court orders reinstatement of university lecturers accused of plagiarism

Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB)
Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (FUNAAB)

‎A court has ordered the reinstatement of two lecturers of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, who were dismissed three years ago for alleged plagiarism.

The National Industrial Court sitting in Lagos declared the termination of their appointments as wrongful, unlawful, null and void.

The lecturers, Janet Bamgbose and Akeem Bamigbade, both of Chemistry Department, were sacked on May 2013 after an investigation and disciplinary committee recommended their dismissal which was upheld by the governing council.

‎However, Justice John Peters while delivering judgement in a suit number NICN/LA/371/013 brought before the industrial court by the defendants said the sack was contrary to the procedure of staff discipline outlined in Section 18 of the Federal University of Agriculture Act, Cap F22, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

Mr. Peters also held that the final decision of the university council, following the consideration of the report of the disciplinary committee was in breach of principle of natural justice and fair hearing.

The industrial court also declared that the claimants were denied fair hearing by the university in the procedure that led to the termination of their appointments.

‎The judge ordered the university to pay the affected staff their salaries and allowances from May 2013 till date with 15 per cent interest rate per annum.

‎The judgement also slammed N2.4 million compensation and cost of the suit on the university, to be paid jointly to the claimants.

‎Mr. Peters held that no query was issued on Mr. Bamigbade on the allegation brought against him, stressing that it was against the provision of Section 18 of the Federal University of Agriculture Act.

The industrial court also faulted the composition of the investigation panel that looked into the allegations against the lecturers, saying it was not properly constituted.

‎ “I further declare that the Claimants were denied fair hearing in the procedure leading to the termination of their appointment by the Defendant, I order their reinstatement immediately and payment to them their salaries from May 2013 till the day of judgement,” a copy of the judgement seen by PREMIUM TIMES showed.

“That there is more to the allegation against the Claimants rather than the issue of plagiarism levelled against the Claimant giving the speed at which the termination of appointment was celebrated in the media without waiting for opportunity of appeal as enshrined in the University Act.”

In the certified true copy of the judgement dated December 9, 2016, the judge also said the ruling must be complied with within 30 days.


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  • Sylvanus Ikhide

    I do not know the details of this case but I do know that we will all pay for the destruction we have done to education in this country. I have been in University education for 32 years both inside and outside of this country. This is the first time I am hearing of University dons accused of plagiarism having the temerity to go to court instead of bowing out in shame. Plagiarism is viewed with very serious concerns in academic circles all over the world. In my present institution when a turnitin report shows that a student has a similarity index above 20% in an assignment, the student fails the course automatically and for anything above 30% the student is dismissed summarily! More appalling, that a high court will be overruling the disciplinary action of a University Governing Council that took necessary steps to correct this shameful act is unheard of. God will surely rescue our country! Looks like our courts now have the penchant for supporting the wrong causes! We need to get to a point where we can say what is wrong is wrong and do away with these technicalities of the law which any criminal can exploit to evade justice.