In a judgment yesterday, Justice Babatunde Adejumo held that the dismissal of the claimant was illegal because he was not given fair hearing. Nzekwe was declared a deserter and dismissed after he overstayed his seven-day casual leave by eight days. He claimed his wife was hospitalised in India resulting in the over stay. But the EFCC said Nzekwe was in possession of a memo mandating him to seek approval before traveling overseas, which he failed to comply with. In his ruling, Justice Adejumo said the claimant should have been tried and punished on disciplinary offences as provided by the rules. He explained that by Section 43 (e) of the EFCC Rules, the claimant did not exceed 21 days in his absence from duty to warrant his being declared a deserter. The judge dismissed EFCC’s counter claim for the operative to refund N500, 000 and other loans, and ordered the anti-graft agency to reinstate the claimant and pay him all outstanding salaries and entitlement. He further ordered the EFCC to pay 10 percent interest on the post-judgment debt owed the claimant. He however refused the application by the claimant to order his promotion to the next rank. “There are parameters for promotion. The defendant may promote the claimant if convinced that he has satisfied the conditions,” he said. Reacting to the judgement, Nzekwe expressed joy at the verdict and pledged his loyalty to the EFCC. “I don’t hold anything against anybody. I want to serve to contribute my quota in the anti-corruption war,” he said.]]>