Judge Polycarp Hamman of the National Industrial Court, Port Harcourt Judicial Division, vacated Prof. Tomunomi Abbey’s suspension of office as inconsistent with Federal Polytechnic Law and ordered his reinstatement as Chancellor of Bonny Federal Oil and Gas Polytechnic, Rivers State .
Citing the Federal Polytechnics Amendment Act of 2019, the court held that the institution’s Governing Council had no power to suspend or discipline the Chancellor.
Judge Hamman also granted an order restraining the institution and its Governing Council from preventing Prof. Abbey from performing his lawful duties as Chancellor of the institution.
Professor Abbey had submitted that he was appointed Chancellor by the Minister of Education in 2018 with the authority and approval of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, along with the Federal Polytechnics Act.
He argued that the Polytechnic Governing Council acted ultra vires and that he was not granted a fair hearing before his suspension.
The defendants, the Bonny Federal Oil and Gas Polytechnic and its Governing Council, argued that the issuance of the inquiry to Prof. Abbey and his subsequent suspension from office were made in the best interest of the Polytechnic, and based on the directive. delivered to the Governing Council by the Minister of Education.
In handing down the sentence, the presiding judge, Justice Hamman, held that the Governing Council acted ultra vires in its powers by suspending Prof. Abbey from office and affirmed that the office of Chancellor is incumbent and regulated by law, and it cannot be manipulated. except as provided in the statute of creation of the office.
“Respondents are hereby prohibited from using the Nigerian Police, DSS and other security agencies to harass Claimant or seize any of the First Respondent’s property entrusted to their care by virtue of their position as First Respondent’s Warden. . .” The Court failed.