Justice Maureen Esowe of the Lagos division of the National Industrial Court has ordered the Union Bank to pay N20,261,810 to one of its retired staff, Mrs. Asenime Claire Ojuzo.
The judgement sum, according to Justice Esowe, is the shortfall of gratuity Union Bank ought to pay Mrs. Asenime, upon her retirement.
Justice Esowe gave the order while delivering judgement in a suit marked NICN/LA/534/2017, filed by the retired officer and the bank.
The claimant, a Senior Manager of the bank, through her lawyer, Chief Paul Omoijiade, had asked the court to “declare that the purported approval by the bank of the claimant’s withdrawal from service which the claimant did not apply for was wrong.”
“A declaration that the defendant is in arrears of N18,114,600, in the payment of the Claimant’s gratuity.
“A declaration that the deduction of the sum of N16,106,219.66, as outstanding loans, status car, unearned medical, outstanding status generator and car from the claimant’s gratuity is unlawful”; among others declarations.
Defending the suit, Union Bank through its witness, Mr. Francis Idiaghe, who was led by Feliz O. Ogungbemi, told the court that there is no provision in the Trust Deed of variation that the claimant or any employee of the bank can remain in service till the age of 60. Rather, under the employment, either party can determine the contract by giving a month’s notice.
Justice Esowe, in her judgment on the suit after the evaluation of parties submissions, and citing of plethora of legal authorities, held that: “Having gone through the Claimant’s claim, evidence led in support, the Defendant’s defence, evidence led in support, with the final written submissions of Counsel on both sides, this court, while adopting all the issues formulated by Counsel, has distilled a sole issue for determination, to wit: Whether the Claimant has proved his case to be entitled to the reliefs sought.
“The court hereby declares that the deduction of the sum of N2,147,210 as money for status car from the Claimant’s gratuity was wrong.
“The court hereby orders the Defendant to pay to the claimant the sum of N2,147,210 deducted from the Claimant’s gratuity as money for status car.
“The court hereby Orders the defendant to pay to the claimant the sum of N18,114,600 being shortfall in the gratuity paid to her.
“All judgment sums shall attract a 2.5% interest rate from the date of judgement until the judgment sum is fully paid.”
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