By Tony Edike
ENUGUâ€”OVER 420 workers of Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO) Enugu, yesterday, staged a peaceful demonstration over alleged large scale fraud and plot byÂ the companyâ€™s expatriate Managing Director, Mr. Jacques Gelin and some management staff to close down the company.
The protest by both the senior and junior staff, which commenced on Monday,Â paralyzed activities at the auto manufacturing company, Monday and Tuesday, as the management staff abandoned their offices for fear of being attacked by the angry workers. Mr. Gelin was said to have travelled out of the country.
In addition, the workers also accused the former chairman of ANAMMCO Plant Union, Mr. Nath Anike of alleged financial fraud, gross misappropriation of the unionâ€™s funds, lack of accountability and connivance with the management to deny the workers their legitimate rights and benefits.
The workers said they had unanimously passed a vote of no confidence on the Anike led executive at their meetings of September 17 and 25, this year and subsequently asked the management to henceforth deal with the interim executive ledÂ by Messrs Frank Nwagbara and John Nweke, Chairman and Secretary respectively, but the management turned down their request.
Anike was accused of failing to give account of over N17 million released to him by the management in May this year for the workers, while he â€œsinglehandedly withdrew the N1.3 million ANAMMCO pension fund with the Zenith Bank and closed the account without the workers authorization.â€
The former union leader, allegedly failed to account for the balance of 20 percent Christmas bonus for 2008, of about N8.8 million,Â for which cheque was written in his name, while â€œhe (Anike) deceived the entire workers and collected the sum of N19.9 million between 2006 and 2008 from ANAMMCO Co-operative Society to bribe the Enugu State Board of Internal Revenue (to reduce their taxes) even when it was not approved by the workers,Â from whose salary the amount was deducted.â€