Ruling: Industrial Court dismisses application on notice, awards cost against counsel

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The Presiding Judge, Owerri Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Ibrahim Galadima has dismissed the application on notice file by Uche Okafor in a matter filed against Keystone Bank Ltd for lacking merit.

The Court held that the application sought does not amount to an amendment but the institution of a fresh cause of action that if granted could infringe on the defendant’s right to fair trial.

Consequently, Justice Galadima ordered Uche Okafor’s counsel to personally pay the sum of N25,000.00 in favour of the bank.

From facts, the applicant counsel had submitted that the application sought does not introduce a fresh cause of action since his client still maintains that his employment was wrongfully terminated that the certificate sought to be tendered, is to regularize the computer-generated evidence which was already before this court as exhibits and cannot be said to have been made in bad faith.

In opposition, Learned counsel to the Keystone, I. C. IKE Esq. argued that the certificate of verification of the authenticity of the documents already tendered by the claimant without compliance, cannot be brought in at this stage long after the documents were already tendered as exhibits by the claimant, urged the court to refuse the application in the interest of justice.

In his ruling, the presiding Judge, Justice Ibrahim Galadima held that granting the amendment sought will entail manifest injustice to the other side and such injury cannot be compensated with cost.

“I thus find it impossible to believe that introducing annexure C1 is even an attempt to cure any defects in exhibits C5, C6, and C7. It is in fact, a worthless and wanton endeavour embarked by learned counsel since the admissibility of those documents were never even objected to by the defendant.

“As such, I have no compunction in rejecting annexure C1 and the prayers and arguments made in its respect as I belief it is an abuse of judicial process, and I so hold. As such, annexure C1 is hereby rejected.”

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