Industrial Court Adjourns Hearing In N800m Suit Between Bao Yao Iron Company And 250 Dismissed Workers

Apr 26, 2024 - 16:06
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Industrial Court Adjourns Hearing In N800m Suit Between Bao Yao Iron Company And 250 Dismissed Workers

By Ndifereke BASSEY

An Industrial Court of the Calabar Judicial Division has adjourned hearing to May 29, 2024 in a case between Bao Yao Huan Jian Iron & Steel Group of Calabar Free Trade Zone (CFTZ) and its over 250 dismissed workers.

The dismissed workers had sued the management of Bao Yao Huan Jian Iron and Steel Group CFTZ demanding payoff in a Suit No.NICN/CA/55/2021 between Ayim Abi Ogeh, Freedom Udoh Davies, Ibor Emmanuel, Iniobong Okon Ndon and Samuel Agbor Ngu as claimants for themselves and on behalf of the one hundred and forty-six members of Staff of Bao Yao Huan Jian company demanding payment of the sum of six hundred and seven million, two hundred and eight one thousand, seven hundred and ninety Naira (N607, 281,791) only, being the claimants payoff.

The claimants are also demanding the sum of one hundred million Naira(100,000,000) against the defendant as general damages and the sum of ten million Naira(N10,000,000) as cost of litigation.

After hearing the matter on Tuesday April 23, 2024, His Lordship Hon. Justice Sanusi Kado, adjourned till May 29, 2024. Speaking to journalists after the Court Sitting, Counsel to Claimants, Barr. (Pastor) Abo Esor Ekpe, siad the defendants refused, neglected or/and failed to pay his clients their payoff despite several written and oral appeals.

Following the failure, the claimants engaged the services of Trinitas Consult Firm of Legal Consultants to write the defendant through her General Manager seeking the payment of the sum of N607,281,799.00 only, being the claimants payoff, the sum of N100, 000,000.00 against the defendant as general damages and the sum of N10,000,000.00 as cost of litigation in the suit.

However, the claimants counsel, Ekpe, averred that "having exhausted all means of amicably settling the matter, they had no other option than to constitute the case with the belief that this honourable Court" adding "the Court has the powers and the jurisdiction to deliver judgment and make orders in their favor."

Counsel to the defendant, Barr. Efiom Ekong (SAN) countered the claimants plea on the grounds that the defendants had the right to hire and fire in line with her Employment Manual & Conditions of Service 2007.