BY VICTOR AHIUMA-YOUNG
FIVE leaders of the National Union of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions Employees, NUBIFIE, arrested Friday and detained at the State Criminal Investigation Department, CID, Lagos over alleged prompting of the management of Diamond Bank Plc in connection with protracted industrial dispute between the bank and the union, were yesterday, granted bail by an Igbosere Magistrate court.
However at the time of this report, the union was making frantic efforts to meet the bail conditions which an official of the union said were on the high side.
Each of them was asked to pay N200, 000, and provide tax clearance among others.
The arrested leaders who are executive of the bank’s unit of NUBIFIE are Olalekan Adebambo (Chairman), Diamond Bank branch of NUBIFIE), Eniola Ilesanmi (Vice Chairman), Michael Olajide (Secretary) Benjamin Onyia (Treasurer) and Onyeonoro Favour (auditor).
Vanguard gathered that the bank accused them of vandalizing its property value at N200 million and assaulting its staff during picketing of the banks by the labour leaders and civil society allies on July 10, 2013.
It was gathered that efforts by NUBIFIE to ensure their release between Friday and yesterday proved abortive.
Already the union has threatened to alongside its umbrella body, the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and civil society allies shut down the operations of the banks should the five union leaders not released unconditionally.
The latest development is incomprehensible because the case is not only before the National Industrial Court, NIC, and it is expected to come up next Tuesday.
General Secretary of NUBIFIE, Muhammed Sheikh who confirmed the arrest, said the union had petition the Deputy Superintendent of the Police, legal Department of the CID, Lagos State Police Command.
According to the petition copied the Lagos State Commissioner, the union demanded for immediate and unconditional release of its members.
The petition read in part “we write to demand immediate and unconditional release of our members who are also staff of Diamond Bank from your custody. It is important to bring your attention that Diamond Bank had earlier filed a case at industrial court against the union and its members.”