Industrial Court orders firm to pay employees N8.5m over unlawful sack
From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja
The National Industrial Court has ordered a firm, Presal Nig. Ltd, to pay four former employees N8.5 million within 30 days for terminating their employment without notice and payment of one month salary in lieu.
Justice Zaynab Bashir ordered that the sum of N4 million was for the claimants outstanding salaries, allowances and other benefits from Dec. 2015 to Sept. 2016, contributory pension from Aug. 2013 to Sept. 2016 and gratuity payment.
The judge equally stated at the proceedings on Wednesday that the failure of the defendant to comply with the judgment directives within 30 days, the said sum shall attract interest at the rate of 10 percent per annum.
In addition, the court awarded the sum of N4 million as general damages and N500,000 as cost of action.
The court made further declaration that the modalities employed by the defendant in paying the claimants their outstanding salaries, allowances and other benefits in piecemeal as harsh, wrongful, illegal, and unacceptable.
The court held that the termination of the claimants employment without notice nor payment of salary in lieu of notice was wrongful and unlawful.
The claimants, Mr Abdulahi Ibrahim, Ayebaiduate Omubo, Innocent Tommy and Friday Barikpe submitted that the defendant terminated their employment without complying with the conditions of service.
The claimants added that there was undue delay in the payment of their salaries while some remained unpaid and their pension contributions were not remitted.
The court also declared that the defendant’s refusal to pay the claimants outstanding salaries, allowances and other benefits from Dec. 2015 to Sept. 2016, gratuity payment of 50 per cent of their terminal monthly salary for each completed year of service, and withdrawal of the claimants’ money in the name of contributory pension scheme without remitting same was harsh, wrongful, illegal, unacceptable and breach of the claimants’ rights.
The court however did not grant the claimants relief that sought for reinstatement.
In defence the defendant admitted owing the claimants their outstanding salaries in the sum of N3.6 million, but however denied all other reliefs sought.
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