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Court dismisses security officer’s suit for lacking in credible evidence

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The National Industrial Court, Abuja on Monday dismissed a suit filed by security officer, Mr Victor Oko against his former employer, ARTEE Industrial Ltd., for lack of credible evidence.

The claimant, Oko approached the court, praying it to declare that he was entitled to the payment of daily overtime, feeding, out of station allowances, tax deduction and outstanding salary from the seven years he worked for the defendant.

The claimant worked as a Chief Security Officer ( CSO) for the defendant from 2007 until Aug.2013 when he alleged that he resigned after the Head of Human Resources advised him to do so, because the defendant was carrying out a reorganization.

The defendant in its Statement of defence argued that the claimant who was issued query for negligence of duty hurriedly tendered his letter of resignation to avoid dismissal.

The defendant also submitted that the claimant allowed a truck into its premises without authorisation and some iron rods were taken out of the premises under the watch of the claimant.

The claimant in his Statement of facts submitted that he sought redress from the court when upon his resignation, the defendant refused to pay him his entitlements.

Among the relief he sought was for the payment of N2 million as cumulative Tax deductions from his salary for the seven years he worked.

In addition, he sought for payment of N10 million as daily overtime, feeding and outstation allowances; outstanding salaries and other allowances as accrued to him.

He further sought an order of court directing the defendant to pay him the sum of N500,000 as cost of prosecuting the suit.

The judge, Justice Sanusi Kado however, dismissed the suit on the ground that there was no credible evidence as to how he arrived at the amount he was laying claims to.

Another reason the judge gave for dismissing the suit was for the admission by the claimant that he signed his Witness statement on oath in his counsel’s office.

He said during cross examination of the claimant, he admitted that he signed the document in his counsel’s office as against the practice which ought to have been before a Commissioner of oath.

In addition, the judge said the claimant’s counsel did not refute the admission by re-examing the claimant. He said the admission was therefore accepted by the court as a fact.

He said the Witness statement was rendered null, void, fundamentally irrelevant and of no evidential value because it was signed before an unauthorised person.

Kado further averred that the document ought to have been signed before a person that was authorised to administer the oath

He said this act had violated the provisions of Sections 112,117(4) of Evidence Act and Section 19 of the Public Document Act.

He said:”the witness statement on oath is hereby expunge from the records of the court in addition with list of witnesses and all other documents tendered by the claimant.

“What is left before the court is just mere averment of pleading and this means the claimant has failed to be entitled to the reliefs he sought, his claim therefore fails and I so hold” he concluded.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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