The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Monday ordered Fidelity Bank Plc to pay N340, 361 to its dismissed staff, Mr Alah Jonathan.
The amount is the ex-worker’s one month’s salary in lieu of notice of termination of his employment.
The dismissed worker had sought redress in the court after his dismissal without being paid a month’s salary in lieu of notice of termination of his employment.
In her judgment, Justice Rakiya Haastrup, held that there was no evidence before the court to prove allegations of misconduct and fraud made by the bank against the ex-worker to justify his summary dismissal.
According to her, since the bank failed to justify the dismissal, the proper thing for the court to do was to convert the summary dismissal to termination of employment.
Haastrup also held that Fidelity bank must act in accordance with the terms and conditions regulating its employment as contained in the ex-worker’s employment letter before the court.
The terms and conditions, according to the judge, stipulate that one month notice is required before termination of employment or a month’s salary in lieu of notice of termination of employment.
She, therefore, ordered the payment of N340, 361 in lieu of one month notice of termination of employment and any other entitlements that may be due and accruable to the ex-worker.
The judge also ordered that the payment must be done within 60 days from the date of the judgment, after which the defendant (Fidelity bank) shall be liable to pay 10 per cent interest on the judgment sum.
She awarded N100, 000 against Fidelity bank as the cost of prosecuting the suit in favour of the claimant.
The judge, however, remarked that any wilful disobedience of a lawful and reasonable order of an employer by an employee was misconduct that should attract summary dismissal.
Counsel to Fidelity bank, Mr Etukwu Onah, had told the court that the ex-worker was dismissed because he was inconsistent in his responses to queries over allegations of misconduct, fraud and disappearance of N4.7 million in his custody as a cash officer.
He said that the ex-staff member failed to defend himself even before a disciplinary committee.