The National Industrial Court in Lagos has ordered Daily Times of Nigeria Plc to pay two of its ex-workers, Uzuakpundu Nduka Patrick and Scott Babatunde, N1,900,000 as accumulated salary arrears.
Justice Mustapha Tijani gave the order while delivering judgment in a suit filed by both defendants alleging wrongful dismissal.
The N1.9m comprises N910,000 accumulated salary arrears and N40,000 as one month salary in lieu of notice of disengagement to each defendant.
The judge held: “I am satisfied that the claimants have established their entitlement to the reliefs sought and, for the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby ordered that within 30 days the date of this judgment, the defendant shall: pay to each of the claimants the accumulated arrears of salaries between November 17, 2014 and August 12 2016, in the sum of N910, 000 only.
“Pay to each of the claimants the sum of N40,000 being the one month salary in lieu of notice of disengagement as contained in the letter of offer of employment dated November 27, 2015.
“Failure to comply with any of the above order shall attract an interest oi 10% per annum until the judgment sum is fully liquidated.”
First and second claimants Patrick and Babatunde, both journalists, sued the company in 2017.
They averred that they were employees of the defendant from November 17, 2014 until they were served letters of disengagement on August 12 and 11, 2016 respectively, though retrospectively dated August 4, 2016.
They told the court that they were each appointed by the defendant as Copy Editors with a monthly total remuneration of N120, 000 each.
They resumed duty on November 17, 2014, thus worked for two weeks in November 2014, but were subsequently each issued new letters of appointment as ‘Reporters’ on November 27, 2015 but with effect from December 1, 2015 on a total monthly remuneration of N40,000 each.
They averred that all their efforts in making the defendant pay their outstanding arrears of salaries owed them proved abortive.
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