Supreme Court Annuls Mobil’s Sack Of 860 Workers 18 Years After
Orders Mobil to reinstate &pay 860 sacked workers
The Supreme Court, on Friday, reached a verdict on the suit involving the sack of 860 workers by Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited 18 years after.
The staff, which were employed as security officers by Mobil in 2000, we’re named Supernumerary Police officers, or SPY for short.
Mobil had claimed that it engaged them, not as staff, but as spy police and has transferred their employment to the Nigeria Police Force, a claim the workers refuted vehemently.
The Federal High Court in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, had ruled in favour of Mobil in 2006.
The workers appealed the case and the Court of Appeal in Calabar, Cross River State, nullified the judgment of the High Court.
The appellate court had, in a 2009 judgment, upheld the workers’ claim to be employees of the oil company.
Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited appealed the judgement citing judicial misappropriation.
In its judgement, the Supreme Court, in a unanimous 5-man judgment headed by Justice Olabode Rhodes-Vivour upheld the ruling.
It reasoned that it was illogical and without legal backing for Mobil to employed them, only later to transfer them to the Nigeria Police through the back door.
Delivering the judgment, Justice John Okoro agreed with the Court of Appeal’s decision.
He, therefore, ordered Mobil to pay the staff members all outstanding allowances and salaries from when they were variously disengaged.
Justice Okoro read:
“The summary of the facts is that the 1st to 15th respondents were employed by the appellants as Supernumerary Police Officers and issued with appointment letters.
“Thereafter, it (appellants) tried to offload them (the 1st to 15th respondents) to the Nigeria Police, a decision the Nigerian employees rejected.
“The lower court upheld their argument that they are not police officers, but the staff members of Mobil Nigeria Unlimited. So Mobil appealed to this court.
“After we have painstakingly looked at all the exhibits before us, including the appointment letters and we have also looked at the Police Act as it relates to the mode of appointment of SPY, agree with the lower court that the respondents were employed by Mobil Nigeria Unlimited as their security staff.
“So, this appeal lacks merit and is hereby dismissed. The judgment of the lower court is upheld.”
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