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May 30 for final address in suit against Newswatch unpaid salary

The National Industrial Court, Lagos on Monday fixed May 30 for adoption of final addresses in a suit by former employee of Newswatch, Francis Iwuchukwu.

Iwuchukwu’s suit, numbered NICN/LA/200/2016, was instituted against Newswatch Times Ltd, over his seven months unpaid salary.

The trial judge, Justice O.A Obaseki-Osaghae adjourned for adoption following failure of the defendant to appear before the court to cross examine the claimant.

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The defendant had neither entered a defence nor was represented by a counsel.

At the resumed hearing of the case on Monday, the trial judge, having satisfied itself on the failure of the defendant to enter a defence, urged counsel to the claimant to file final addresses.

The judge noted that the defendant was not ready to put up a defence against the action instituted against it, in spite of service of court processes.

The judge therefore directed that final addresses be filed in pursuant of the provisions of order 38, Rule 2 (4) and Order 38, Rule 3 (2) of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria Civil Procedure Rules 2016.

She adjourned the case until May 30 for adoption of final written address.

In his statement of fact filed by his counsel, Mr Yemi Omodele, Iwuchukwu averred that he was employed by way of a letter of appointment dated October 1, 2012, by the defendant.

He averred that Newswatch did not issue a letter of confirmation of his appointment, after being qualified for same in spite of constant demands for it.

He said that he was only informed at the registry of Newswatch “you have been employed, carry on with your work”.

Iwuchukwu averred that upon noticing the indifferent attitude of the defendants management to its workers welfare, especially the none payment of outstanding salaries, he tendered a letter of resignation on May 28, 2015.

“In spite of my constant visits and demand for mine outstanding salaries, the defendant refused to pay same.

“This refusal prompted the claimant counsel, Mr Yemi Omodele (Esq) to write a letter dated Aug. 17, 2015 to the defendant demanding for the payment of all outstanding salaries of the claimant,” he averred.

According to the Plaintiff, the defendant claimed that it deducted some money and remitted it to Lead Way Pensure Ltd, a claim the plaintiff said was false.

The plaintiff explained that when he visited the office of Leadway Pensure Ltd and requested for a copy of his retirement savings account statement, he was shocked to realise that the defendant did not pay a kobo to the said company.

Iwuchukwu noted that the defendant’s action was fraudulent and constituted a clear intention to defraud the claimant, adding that he had suffered great loss due to nonpayment of his seven months’ salary.

The claimant is consequently praying the National Industrial Court, for a declaration that the he is entitled to be paid salaries for the months of October, November, December 2014, as well as January, February, March and April 2015.

He also seeks a declaration that the nonpayment of the salaries by Newswatch, amounts to breach of trust and a willful intention to defraud him.

Iwuchukwu consequently, seeks an order of court, directing the defendant, its servants, agents and/or privies to pay forthwith the sum of N700, 000 to him, being salaries for the months in arrears.

He further seeks an order, directing the defendant, to pay 21 per cent interest on the sum, until judgment is delivered and executed.


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