Hon. Justice (Prof.) Elizabeth Oji of the Lagos Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court has ordered Nicon Insurance Limited to pay one of her former staff Mr. Eshiet Esenem the sum of N772,884.65 (Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Four Naira, Sixty Five Kobo) being the outstanding balance of his pension remittance.

Justice Oji held that Mr. Eshiet has given evidence of the refusal of the firm to meet their contractual responsibility on the payment of deducted pension; awarded the sum of N200,000 as damages for financial stress and N100,000 cost of action within 30 days.

From facts, the Claimant- Mr. Eshiet Esenem had submitted that he was appointed as an Officer 1 with effect from the 1st of June, 2006, and his appointment was confirmed on the 24th of July, 2007. Unfortunately, his appointment was terminated effective on the 29th of January, 2016 on ‘Reorganisation and Restructuring’.

He averred that during the period of his service, the company failed to remit the total sum of N772,884.65 (Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Four Naira, Sixty Five Kobo) into his RSA despite monthly deductions from his salary and all efforts to get his entitlements were to no avail.

However, despite being served with the originating processes and hearing notices; the firm did not enter an appearance nor file any processes in defence of the suit.

In addition, the office of the Public Defender as counsel to Mr. Eshiet averred that the failure of the firm to remit the Claimant’s pension is in contravention of the Pension Reform Act, and urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.

Delivering the judgment, Justice Elizabeth Oji held that the evidence tendered by Mr. Eshiet remains uncontroverted and has established his entitlement to the reliefs sought.

“The Claimant also tendered his AIICO pension statement of account for the period of 2006 to 2016 (exhibit C7) which clearly shows that the Defendant failed to remit the monthly deducted sums from his salary on numerous occasions, an act which is clearly frowned upon by the Pension Reform Act of 2014.

“I, therefore, find that the Claimant has established his entitlement to his first relief. I so hold. The Defendant is ordered to pay to the Claimant the sum of N772,884.65 (Seven Hundred and Seventy-Two Thousand, Eight Hundred and Eighty-Four Naira, Sixty Five Kobo) being the outstanding balance of the Claimant’s pension remittance into his Premium Pension Limited account.” Court ruled.

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