By Jane B. Mansaray………………………
The matter involving Thomas Bango, a former staff at the Airtel Mobile Company Limited as (plaintiff) in a High Court matter filed against the said Airtel Mobile Company as (defendant) was yesterday thrown out of the Industrial Court by the sitting High Court Judge, Justice Patrick Hamilton for what he referred as wrongful assigning.
The plaintiff in the matter is said to have taken the defendant to court for settlement on an alleged crime of unfair termination.
Answering to a subpoena at the Industrial Court in Freetown, a witness from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Mr. Fouad Kamara confirmed to the court that he signed a document relating to the matter on the basis of unfair termination on the part of Airtel Mobile Company Limited.
When questioned as to whether he did the computation on the document, the witness said all the computation was done by another staff of the said Ministry in Freetown.
The witness further explained that during the course of the investigation, the complainant asked them to write what he has been deprived of and furnished with a copy in order for him to seek the services of a private solicitor.
After the witness testimony in court, Justice Hamilton said he did not have the jurisdiction to go on with the matter. “The industrial court is only entitled to give judgement on matters which affect benefit of complainants”, he said.
Speaking further on the issue, the Judge said the matter at hand should have been directed to the General Civil Division of the High Court.
He said it is that Division in the Judiciary that is responsible to determine hardship and what quantum to put on it.
Counsel representing Airtel as defendant Lawyer, A. Koroma made an application for the plaintiff to pay cost for wasting the court’s time, and that of his client.
However, another witness from the Labour Ministry, Mr.Max Alie informed the court that he will confer with the plaintiff as to what line of action to proceed with.