The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) has petitioned the National Judicial Council (NJC) for what it calls “the unbecoming attitude of Justice C. Olatoregun-Isola, of a Federal High Court, Lagos.’’
The petition was dated May 21.
The agency is asking for the intervention of the NJC, by calling Mr Olatoregun-Isola to order.
In the petition, NAN draws the attention of the NJC to the judgment delivered by the judge on November 7, 2008, in the suit No: FCH/L/CS/1171/2008.
The said suit was between NAN and one of its former staff, Sunny Odunwo, the plaintiff who left the service of the agency in 1986.
Mr Odunwo had worked for NAN for six years and Mr Olatoregun-Isola’s judgment had directed the agency to compute and pay the plaintiff’s terminal benefits, which it did.
The agency said that the computed entitlement paid to the plaintiff amounted to N409,175.
To the agency’s dismay, it said, the plaintiff, after receiving his entitlement, went ahead to compute another terminal benefit ”his own way and came up with the figure”, N15.5 million.
On January 25, Justice Olatoregun-Isola made an order of Garnishee against the agency in the sum of N15.5 million, being the figure allegedly computed by the plaintiff.
Mr Olatoregun-Isola then went ahead to make an Absolute order on March 7, allegedly without giving the agency an opportunity to be heard.
On May 16, the agency informed the court through its solicitors that it had filed a Notice of Appeal challenging the Garnishee Absolute Order at the Court of Appeal.
In the appeal, the agency challenged the court that it lacked jurisdiction to continue with the matter pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.
In spite of this, NAN alleged that Olatoregun-Isola proceeded with the case and struck out the agency’s pending applications and awarded a cost of N100,000 against the agency.
The agency said it wants the NJC to call the judge to order because his judgment of November 7, did not direct the plaintiff to compute his entitlement which is unheard of.
The matter should have been transferred to the National Industrial Court, and issues relating to gratuities and pensions are now handled by the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).
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