THE National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Tuesday struck out a suit filed by one Cherry Okeke, against her former employer, Ecobank Nig. Plc, seeking payment of N20.2million being accrued benefits and salaries.
Justice Rakiya Haastrup, dismissed the suit on the grounds that the claimant, who was given an indefinite suspension without pay, was not entitled to any salary.
Haastrup said that the claimant failed to prove that the termination was unlawful, and therefore was not entitled to any relief, and subsequently dismissed the suit.
Elijah Adegbe, the claimant’s counsel, had told the court that his client was disengaged from the defendant’s employment in 2013 without one month salary, in lieu of notice.
Adegbe said the accrued salaries, benefits and interest from 2013 to the time the suit was instituted, amounted to N20.2million.
As part of the relief sought by the claimant, she prayed the court to declare her employment with the bank as still subsisting.
She also sought payment of N50million as general damages and N5 million as cost of the suit.
The defence counsel, Faith Ozurumba, in her submission, argued that the claimant, who took credit facility of N5.5million from the defendant, is the one indebted to the defendant.
Ozurumba said that the amount had increased to N18.2million, from unpaid principal fund and accrued interest.
She said that the claimant breached her contract of employment, by using the premises of the defendant for business transactions for personal gains.
Ozurumba said that it was this action that led to the claimant’s indefinite suspension in 2012, and eventually to termination of her appointment in 2013.
Okeke who was employed by Oceanic Bank Plc before its acquisition in 2011 by Ecobank Nig. Plc, rose to the position of a Customer Relations Manager before the termination of her appointment in 2013. (NAN)
– Apr. 17, 2018 @ 13:58 GMT