Twelve Fidelity Bank ex-staff denied retirement entitlements were at the National Industrial Court in Lagos on Monday, July 10, 2017 for the hearing of their suit against the bank only to discover that the lawyer representing the bank failed to appear.
The National Industrial Court (NIS) in Lagos on Monday fixed Sept. 22, 2017 to hear a suit by former staff of Fidelity Bank Plc, challenging the non payment of their pension arrears.
The claimants are: Ann Nwabulu, Chidinma Oka, Joseph Dimka, Doris Alfred, Dayo Olayemi, Julius Ubah, Obasi Esobe, Obiageli Mbadiwe, Sophia Milton, Yemisi Falade, Abiamuwe Sylvester, and Nnenna Ekwueme.
Joined as defendants in the suit is Fidelity bank plc.
The claimants, through the chambers of Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), are seeking a declaration that they are entitled to payment of their retirement benefits by the defendant, after 15 years of service.
When the case was called on Monday, Mr Jeff Kadiri announced appearance for the claimants, while there was no legal representation for the defendants.
Addressing the court, Kadiri said he had an application for summary judgment on the grounds that the defendants had no defence to the suit.
He told the court that after the law firm of Ozekhome wrote the defendants, they paid up the entitlements of two of the claimants, leaving the rest unpaid.
According to Kadiri, by the provisions of Order 16 of the rules of court, a summary judgment can be entered where there is no defence to a suit.
He, therefore, urged the court to give an earliest possible date for hearing of the claimants’ application.
In a short ruling , Justice Amadi adjourned the case to Sept. 22, for hearing.
In their suit, the claimants aver that they had voluntarily retired from the bank in November 2016, after putting in 15 years of service.
They averred that upon retirement, they were advised by the human resource department to furnish their accounts into which their retirement benefits would be credited.
The claimants averred that they had happily submitted their account details and were awaiting payment of the said benefits when they received another notice from the bank.
They said that in the new notice, the defendant stated that by its new policy, there is now a cancellation of payment of all such benefits from Dec. 16, 2016.
The claimant averred that in spite of this notice, the defendant still proceeded in paying in a discriminatory manner, some of their colleagues who retired, while leaving others in limbo.
They therefore seek an order, directing the defendants to immediately pay all outstanding benefits due to them.
The claimants also claim against the defendants, payment of the sum of N700 million as both exemplary and aggravated damages, as well as unfair treatments meted on them. (NAN)
Barrister Jeff kadiri from Ozekhome chambers came for the ex-staff.
Fidelity representative are : Eddy Henshaw (legal dept)and Ndiulor Ejike – Head marketing communication.
www.sojworld.com (c) July 13, 2017.