Due to failure of Odu’a Investment Company to pay entitlements of eight former top management of the company running to N80 million since they retired in 2014,
Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale of National Industrial Court 4 sitting in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital has adjourned till December 5th, a case instituted by these former Directors.
It could be recalled that the ex-staff among whom were former Executive Director, Finance and Planning, Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Alhaji Rasaki Adeniyi Badmus; former General Manager, Business Development, Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Bola Jaiyeola and ex-Managing Director, Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, a subsidiary of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Kayode Adenigba had in March dragged the company to court over its failure to pay their entitlements.
Badmus who retired in June, 2014 in the claim sheet number NICN/IB/12/2018 said he approached the court to seek for the payment of the sum of N26, 545,267.40, his final entitlements.
Adenigba who retired in December 2014 on the other hand in his claim sheet number NICN/IB/13/2018 approached the industrial court for the payment of the sum of N19, 575,069.77 while Mr. Jaiyeola who retired in June 2014 in his own claim sheet number NICN/IB/11/2018 said he had no option than to approach the court for the payment of N4,268,697.89, as his final entitlements.
Other ex-top management staff of the company joined in the consolidated suit included former Controller Training, Airport Hotel, Ebunoluwa Oyaleke; former Human Resources Administration, Odu’a, Olufunmilayo Aderinto; former General Manager Business Development Odu’a, Leke Ore; former Business Services Manager Odu’a, Toyin Adedipe and former Controller, House Keeping, Lagos Airport Hotel, Gbolahan Salawu.
The eight ex-staff said they approached the court to compel the management of their former employer to pay their entitlements running to N80 million and pay ten per cent of the interest because they have been subjected to unnecessary hardship since they retired as they could not get the entitlements as at when due.
Justice Ogunbowale at the resume of the hearing on Wednesday however adjourned the case till December 5th due to the failure of the counsel to the company to appear before the court, citing that they were “indisposed”.
Counsel to the claimants, Barrister Bode Elemide while speaking, had told the court that his clients after serving the company for over 25 years each were yet to get their entitlements since they retired in 2014, hence they had no option than to drag the company to the court.
Elemide said despite the fact that he and counsel to the defendant had on October 3rd during the last hearing of the case, agreed to fix the case till October 31, he was surprised that the counsel to the defendant sent a letter, that they were “indisposed”, thereby they will not appear in the court on Wednesday.
Ogunbowale while speaking said she will give the defendant grace of another adjournment before she proceed on the case, as she adjourned the case till December 5th, one of the dates suggested in the letter.
Elemide while speaking with newsmen alleged that the company was using settlements and adjournments as tactics to delay the court processes.
According to him, “We came to court today, we filled a case against Odu’a to enable them pay entitlements of its ex-directors, eight of them who were retired in 2014. By the letter of their retirements, they should have been paid by December 2014, four years after we are still in court trying to get their entitlements for them. We don’t have any other options than to approach the court, so that the ex-staff will not continue to suffer.
“What I see of Odu’a is that they want to waste time, we and the counsel to the company on October 3rd, we agreed on October 31st. We all agreed. We are in court now, five, out of the eight former staff are in court today. Unfortunately, they sent a letter to us that their counsel is indisposed. God will preserve all of us till December 5th, the next adjournment.
“One of their counsel on October 3rd said they will settle some of the ex-staff but, up till now no single letter to that effect.
“So, Odu’a is using settlements and adjournments as tactics to waste time. Why are they not ready to pay their ex-staff? They are asking for N80m as their entitlements and also asking for interest having being denial for four years. We are asking for 10 per cent interest”.