Justice Babatunde A. Adejumo of the National Industrial Court, NIC, Abuja on Wednesday reserved ruling on alleged case of wrongful dismissal brought against the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, by Juliet Ibekaku, its former assistant director, legal and prosecution till December 16, 2015.
At Wednesday’s sitting, counsel to both the plaintiff and the defendant adopted their final addresses.
Adopting his final address, counsel to the EFCC, Mela A. Nunghe, urged the court to refuse Ms. Ibekaku’s claim as canvassed by her counsel and award cost against them.
“We adopt our written address as our argument and urge your Lordship to refuse the claimant’s claim with cost to the defendant”, pleaded Nunghe.
Ms. Ibekaku’s counsel, Abdul Mohammed, while adopting his final address said, “on behalf of the claimant, we adopt our written address dated September 3, 2015. We adopt same as our legal argument in support of the claimant’s claim”.
He urged the court to discountenance the defendant’s submission.
Justice Adejumo, thereafter, adjourned for ruling.
Ms. Ibekaku was dismissed for desertion, a serious offence against discipline going by the provisions of Section 43 (e) (i) of the EFCC Staff Regulation which states that, “Any officer who willfully absents for twenty one (21) consecutive days shall be guilty of offence of desertion and shall be dismissed from the Commission as a deserter.”
She is however challenging her dismissal, which according to her, did not follow due process.
Ms. Ibekaku, who was acting director of the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, was redeployed to the legal directorate in the Lagos Zonal Office on November 15, 2013,and although she reported for documentation on November 21, 2013, she was later accused of absconding from work for 81 consecutive days.
She was subsequently dismissed on February 11, 2014 for desertion, contrary to Section 36 (i) (xi) of the EFCC Staff Regulation.