DUROJAIYE Hassan, a former staff of LEADERSHIP Newspaper, on Saturday said he had concluded plans to drag the publisher of the Newspaper, Sam Nda- Isaiah, to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN, over N4.8 million salary arrears.
Aside owing Hassan the sum of N4.8 million salary arrears, Nda-Isaiah had also refused to pay him the commission from the 400 pages advertisement he single-handedly secured for the newspaper from the Kogi State government.
Omileye Olamide Ayoola, lawyer to Hassan, stated this during a press briefing with judiciary correspondents in Abuja.
Nda-Isaiah, 2015 presidential aspirant on the platform of the All Progressives Congress, APC, is a pharmacist turned publisher by accident, after failing in the pharmacy business.
He became a serial debtor after he lost the 2015 APC primaries and aside his non-payment of salaries, he is also notorious for subjecting staff to all forms of police harassment, intimidation and detention.
For more than a week now, a full page advert of ‘Disclaimer’ has been running in LEADERSHIP Newspaper against Hassan.
Hassan’s lawyer, Ayoola therefore urged innocent innocent members of the public who may not have known the genesis of the crisis to disregard the disclaimer advert in the LEADERSHIP Newspapers.
He said, “Nda-Isaiah is known for cheating his staff when it comes to the issue of their welfare. He decided to start running disclaimer adverts against me simply because I refused to be cheated.
“From reliable source, my lawyers told me that Nda-Isaiah had called the Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who is his kinsman on phone to intimidate and harass me despite being cheated.”
According to him, all the adverts placed by Kogi State government amounted to about N100 million out of which he only paid a month salary for all his staff.
Ayoola explained that Hassan who was employed by the newspaper in 2011 until he resigned voluntarily in July 2017 had three years outstanding arrears of his salary to the tune N4.8 million unpaid.
The lawyer, however, said his client fell apart with LEADERSHIP Newspaper when Hassan, through the good relationship he had established in the past secured a 400 pages advertisement from Kogi State government to the tune of N45.5 million.
“The payment for this advert was done through Hassan’s personal account. The monies were paid into his account in his individual capacity and not as a staff of LEADERSHIP Newspapers but more or less as an agent through which they could have paid the assignment through other Newspapers since he became a free agent after his resignation from the Newspaper in July, 2017.
“In the course of this payment, some monies were lodged to my client account which he appropriately remitted to LEADERSHIP Newspaper and took less N3 million as commission which was an agreement between him and management of LEADERSHIP Newspaper. This N3 million was a token out of the contract worth N45.5 million.
“The explanation for this is that he paid N39.5 million into LEADERSHIP Newspapers, took N3 million as agreed between him and the management of LEADERSHIP Newspapers and another N1 million which was supposed to be given to the Kogi State Government House staff to facilitate the payment as agreed and approved by the management of LEADERSHIP Newspapers as well.
“My client also took N2 million, part of his salary arrears; this was also done with the agreement of the management of LEADERSHIP Newspapers.”
Hassan’s lawyer expressed shocked that instead of honouring the agreement with his client, Nda -Isaiah resorted to intimidation and harassment of his client with the police.
“My client was harassed, arrested, intimidated and detained by the police for no crime committed under our laws. As a law-abiding citizen, he has always made himself available at every given time as requested by the police force” he added.
Meanwhile, Hassan has expressed surprise over a full page disclaimer LEADERSHIP Newspaper carried in his name, which, according to him, has projected his client’s image in bad light.
He said his client has received several calls both locally and internationally asking him what he had done to have necessitated such disclaimer.
Ayoola said, “On the disclaimer, we have today sent a letter to LEADERSHIP Newspapers making various demands prominent among which is his salary arrears, the illegal deduction made on his salary for all the years he had worked with the paper.
“His one year salary which was taken from him over advertisement he knew nothing about should be paid. We have all the evidence and facts to prove all this. These are facts that will be clear for the court to see when the time comes.
“The issue of staff unfair treatment in Nigeria has become so common. This battle should not be treated lightly because if this should happen to Durojaiye today, it can happen to anybody”.
– Nov. 20, 2016 @ 11:32 GMT /