Sacked Camden parking warden seeks to overturn ruling
07:00 01 May 2012
A Camden parking warden who claims he was sacked for trying to expose an illegal immigration racket will call on evidence from the Ham&High in a bid to overturn a legal ruling.
Michael Onumajuru accused the NSL parking firm of smuggling Nigerian migrants into Camden’s parking service, as reported in the Ham&High last November.
He claimed that he was dismissed in June 2011 after alerting his bosses.
But the case for unfair dismissal was thrown out by an employment tribunal last week and jobless Mr Onumajaru was ordered to pay £1,000 in legal fees.
The 49-year-old, from Nigeria, hopes that fresh evidence, which was not available at the time of the original hearing, could lead to the ruling being overturned.
He will call on evidence from a Ham&High reporter, phone records and witness statements from colleagues in a bid to bolster his case.
Ben Oguntala, who is representing Mr Onumajaru, said his client’s former legal representatives had let Mr Onumajuru down.
A solicitor for NSL – employed by Camden Council to oversee parking across the borough – called the case “utterly misconceived” and said it had been “inflated from the start”.
Mr Onumajaru claims he complained twice orally to managers about illegal immigrants in Camden’s parking service, before resorting to scribbling the allegations into his pocket book. He had hoped these would find their way to more senior management.
The former civil enforcement officer was then reported to have taken money from motorists in exchange for not issuing them with tickets.
He was reassigned to a Haverstock Hill base from Guilford Street in Bloomsbury as his bosses investigated the allegations. When the period of his stay was extended, Mr Onumajaru defied his bosses and returned to Guilford Street base and went on patrol.
He was suspended and then sacked for “gross misconduct”.
Employment Judge George Sigsworth, who presided over the employment tribunal, will consider the fresh evidence and decide whether or not to grant a review of the case.