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School principal gives evidence at tribunal

Jul 4, 2012, 1:56 PM | Article By: Yusuf Ceesay

Fr. Bruno Touban, the principal of St. Peter’s Senior Secondary School, on Monday testified before the Industrial Tribunal in Kanifing in a claim of wrongful termination brought against the school by one Lamin S. Sanneh, former teacher of the school.

In his testimony, the defendant’s witness told the tribunal he is the principal of the school owned by the Catholic Mission.

He said he gave the plaintiff a notice to leave by the end of March 2012, when the plaintiff decided to leave them.

According to the school principal, on 30 January 2012, he received a letter from the plaintiff that he wanted to stop teaching one of the shift because of personal reasons effective February 2012.

The said letter, tendered as defence exhibit, was identified by the witness when it was shown to him.

“I told him the implication if someone wants to leave in abandonment,” the witness said, adding that he informed him to pay a month’s salary in lieu of notice, which he accepted.

He indicated that the plaintiff agreed to come back at the end of February 2012 on the arrangement to pay by installment.

When he reminded him a month later, he told him he was not going to pay because he “owes” them nothing.

The school principal further testified that he came to realize that the plaintiff was working in another school (Kombo Kerewan Upper Basic School).

He told the tribunal he also realised the day the plaintiff submitted his resignation letter was the day he went to teach in another school in the afternoon shift.

“His abandonment leaves the students without a teacher,” the principal told the tribunal.

The principal adduced that as a result of the plaintiff’s act, he wrote him a termination letter since he was on the brink of leaving them unceremoniously.

He insisted that, according to the school’s terms of reference, he has the right to terminate the plaintiff’s service.

According to him, the school’s terms of reference mandates him to terminate services of staff when their conducts call for such measures.

He denied the plaintiff’s claim of 3 years 7 months wages, as well as for allowances.

“House allowance is not a benefit in his contract of employment,” he said.

The school principal told the tribunal that when the plaintiff received his termination letter, he did not object to the month’s notice, adding that the plaintiff did not respond to his termination and accepted the allowance from them.

Fr. Bruno Touban denied that the plaintiff’s termination was wrongful.

Hearing continues.