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Court orders company to pay 72 months salary, N1.5m compensation to casual worker

A National Industrial Court in Lagos has ordered a construction company, Nahman Construction Limited to 72 months salary to a casual labourer, Muraina Taiwo who was sacked after being wounded at work.

The trial judge, Justice Tijani Mustapha also ordered the company to pay a compensation of N1.5 million for trauma and pains suffered by the casual worker.

The claimant, Taiwo, was a casual labourer at the defendant’s construction site at the Landmark Event Centre, where he had an accident in September 2015. He was rushed to the hospital and surgery was carried out on his leg after the payment of the hospital bills by the defendant.

However, the defendant refused to pay for a second surgery on the claimant after he was informed by the hospital that another round of surgery was required to correct the injury to his knees. The defendant also stopped the claimant’s salary, despite non-termination of his employment, which compounded his situation.

In a bid to seek redress and justice, the claimant hired a lawyer that filed the matter in court in 2016, but the lawyer stopped coming to the court due to unpaid bills. The claimant`s case was on the verge of being struck out by the Court, when it was referred to Lagos State Office of the Public Defender(OPD) to avail him free legal services”.

OPD Director, Dr Jide Martins said: “The OPD, in line with its statutory responsibility of defending the rights of defenseless residents of the State, swiftly deployed some of its best hands to represent the claimant and sought for various reliefs in court on the claimant’s behalf. It was the tenacity, discipline and uncommon professionalism exhibited by the OPD Counsels during the hearing that resulted in the favourable judgment for Muraina Taiwo”.

Dr Martins expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the case despite the fact that the claimant’s case was referred to OPD at short notice for free legal assistance. He enjoined Lagos residents to always take advantage of the free legal services to protect their rights.

He urged employees having any dispute with their employers on issues bordering on compensation, gratuity, non-remittance of pension and wrongful termination of contract of employment to come forward for free legal assistance and representation.

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