The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Friday dismissed a suit filed by a lecturer against the Governing Council of Kaduna State College of Nursing & Midwifery, seeking his reinstatement, for being statute barred.
Justice Rakiya Haastrup, who heard the matter, dismissed the suit instituted by Afoi Barry for his failure to file the suit within the three months stipulated period.
A suit is statute barred when it is no longer legally enforceable, because the prescribed period for legal action had elapsed.
Mr Barry had approached the court for a declaration that the termination of his appointment was “wrong and illegal.”
He also sought reinstatement, payment of his salaries and entitlements from July 2015 when his appointment was terminated, till date.
Mrs Haastrup said the suit did not satisfy Section 2 (a) of the Public Officers’ Protection Act.
She said that Section 2 (a) of that Act stipulates that any counter-action against public officers should be instituted within three months.
She further said that the suit, which was instituted on May 6, 2016 failed to meet the three-month requirement.
According to the judge, the claimant cannot claim ignorance of the date of his dismissal.
She said the claimant ought to have filed the suit within three months of the actual cause of action.
“The argument of the claimant that he appealed against his dismissal and that there was no Governing Council in existence is not tenable.”
Agu Iroagalachi, the claimant’s counsel, alleged that Mr Barry, who was lecturer II at the college, was illegally dismissed by the management when the governing board of the college was yet to be reconstituted.
The defence counsel, Isaac Samson, in his submission, said that the claimant instituted the suit outside the three-month period allowed by law.
Mr Samson further argued that the claimant was dismissed after he was indicted for absconding from duty for three months by the disciplinary committee of the college.
He said that the college followed due process, adding that the claimant faced a disciplinary panel, which found him guilty and recommended his dismissal from the college.