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The National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Lagos has ordered the reinstatement of two sacked lecturers of the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State.

The lecturers – Dr. Janet Titilayo Bamgbose and Akeem Adesina Bamigbade – both of the Department of Chemistry, were sacked in May, 2013, for alleged plagiarism.

Justice John Peters described the sack as null and void “as well as a breach of principle of natural justice and fair hearing”.

The court ruled that the university did not follow the procedure for workers’ discipline, as contained in Section 18 of the Federal University of Agriculture Act, Cap. F22, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

It ordered that the lecturers’ salaries and allowances from May 2013 till date should be paid with 15 per cent interest per annum.

The court, which directed that the reinstatement must be without any loss of seniority, privilege, entitlements and allowances, ordered the university to pay N2.4 million as compensation and cost of the suit to the claimants within 30 days of the judgment.

Justice Peters said: “I declare that the termination of the claimants’ employment by the defendant, based on the final decision of the university’s council composed of members of the investigating panel and members of the Staff Disciplinary Committee, whose report it considered and approved is unlawful, null and of no effect whatsoever, for being in breach of the principles of natural justice and fair hearing.”

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