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PETER ONYEACHONAM OBANYE v. UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC

(2018) LPELR-44702(SC)

In The Supreme Court of Nigeria

On Friday, the 8th day of June, 2018

SC.569/2015


Before Their Lordships

MUSA DATTIJO MUHAMMAD Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

KUDIRAT MOTONMORI OLATOKUNBO KEKERE-EKUN Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

CHIMA CENTUS NWEZE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

EJEMBI EKO Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria

PAUL ADAMU GALINJE Justice of The Supreme Court of Nigeria


Between

PETER ONYEACHONAM OBANYE - Appellant(s)

AND

UNION BANK OF NIGERIA PLC - Respondent(s)


Other Citations

; ;


Summary

INTRODUCTION:
This appeal borders on Termination of Employment.
FACTS:
The appellant was an employee of the respondent. The respondent, by a letter of November 28, 2003, although back-dated to October 30, 2003, terminated the said employment. Sequel to the said letter, the respondent credited his account with the required one month's salary in lieu of Notice on December 3, 2003. However, only five days later, the respondent reversed the payment. Having failed in all his attempts to persuade the respondent to reverse the said termination of his employment, the appellant instituted an action at the Anambra State High Court, Onitsha Judicial Division.

Upon the eventual joinder of issues in the settled pleadings, the matter went to trial. The appellant, (as plaintiff) testified as the sole witness. He tendered nineteen exhibits, Exhibits P1-P19. On her part, the respondent, (as defendant), equally called only one witness who testified and tendered one exhibit, Exhibit D1. The High Court dismissed the plaintiff's case, prompting the appellant's appeal to the Court of Appeal, Enugu Division.

The Court of Appeal allowed the appeal in part, holding that all that the appellant is entitled to is one month salary in lieu of Notice and any other entitlements legitimately due to him at the time of termination of his employment and nothing more. 

Aggrieved, the appellant further appealed to the Supreme Court.

ISSUES:
The Court determined the appeal on the Appellant's issue as follows:
Whether the appellant is not entitled to damages, the Court of Appeal having found that the employment of the appellant was wrongly terminated as the one month's salary in lieu of Notice was not paid, the respondent having breached the terms of the Contract of Employment binding the two parties?

DECISION/HELD:
In the final analysis, the Court held that the appeal lacked merit and it was accordingly dismissed. Consequently, the decision of the Court of Appeal was affirmed.


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