ECOWAS Court orders WAPP to pay $280,000 compensation to dismissed staff

The Community Court of Justice, ECOWAS, has ordered the West African Power Pool (WAPP), a specialised agency of ECOWAS, to pay 280,000 dollars as compensation to its former staff, Mr. Babatunde Adeyemo, for wrongful dismissal from the service of the agency.

The Judgment was delivered by Justice Keikura Bangura on Wednesday at the ECOWAS Court in Abuja

The Court agreed with the plaintiff that the Cotonou-based WAPP did not follow due process in terminating his appointment and awarded 20,000 dollars for various breaches of staff regulations and also 140,000 dollars as general damages for the wrongful dismissal.

It also awarded a sum of 20,000 dollars against the WAPP as costs pursuant to Article 66 (1) of the Rules of Procedure of the Court.

In suit no. ECW/CCJ/APP/31/18 filed by his counsels Zakari Baba Body, Irene Gassi,said the plaintiff, who was employed by WAPP in 2006 as Director of Information and Coordination of the agency, alleged that the termination of his appointment about two years ago was illegal.

The plaintiff averred that he was accused of disrespectful behavior to the agency’s Human Resources and Governance Committee during its 12th meeting of March 27 to March 29, 2017 held in Cotonou after which his appointment was terminated after 11 years of service without any query.

He added that following his suspension, he was called to face a disciplinary committee and subsequently dismissed on Aug.8, 2017.

The plaintiff further averred that he unsuccessfully appealed his dismissal in accordance with the agency’s staff regulations before proceeding to the ECOWAS Court for redress.

Among the reliefs sought by Mr Adeyemo were an order of the Court declaring that his dismissal did not follow due process, the award of damages in the sum of 109,038 USD being three month compensatory allowance in lieu of notice.

The payment by WAPP of the remaining two years of his social security contribution prior to his scheduled retirement in 2019 and 2 million dollars as general damages.

The other Judges on the panel are Justices Edward Asante (President) and Gberi-Be Ouattara (Vice President) of the court.