In a petition, which was sent through their lawyer, Falana, the discharged staff contended that the moment their appointments were terminated, “your management deliberately for unjustifiable reasons refused to pay their exit benefits and entitlements, including all previously accrued entitlements prior to the termination of their employment without offering any explanation for the delay till date, in flagrant disobedience to the extant labour laws.” The threat of legal action is contained in a petition dated September 11, , signed by Dare Falana (of the Falana and Falana Chambers) on behalf of the retirees and sent to the Managing Director of the bank. While claiming that the bank paid some monies early September to a few of the affected workers, it pointed out that the payment fell short “of the total benefit and entitlements due to those who were paid, while the rest were not paid.” It was also alleged that the bank failed in the “payment of staff leave backlog, full value for number of years in service, interest earned on funds set aside/invested and a host of other entitlements which currently constitute over 60 per cent of expected gratuity payment from the bank in contravention of collective agreement and antecedents thus undermining the welfare of its retirees.” The petition added: “An employee whose appointment is terminated and has leave days outstanding or accrued as at the date of termination, shall have the days commuted to cash.” It wondered why the bank was not disposed to paying them their leave bonus. The petitioners alleged that the benefits and entitlements of affected top management staff were paid, while those of the lower cadre staff were left unattended. They added that since the management claimed that it invested the funds set aside for the payment of their outstanding benefit to yield interest, the retirees “are at a loss as to why the investment has not been recalled for their use.” They urged the bank to urgently address the demand of the entire staff affected in the disengagement exercise, failure, warning that otherwise litigation would be instituted against the bank. However, in its response to the petition, the bank through its legal officers, Alaba Williams and Hamisu Sani, Head, Legal Services Department and Legal Services respectively, denied any wrongdoing, maintaining that it places premium on meeting its due obligations to deserving ex-staff of the bank in accordance with its policies. In its five paragraphs letter, the bank requested the lawyer to verify the petitioners’ claims so it can do the needful, if need be, emphasising that as a socially responsible organisation, it is ready to settle the entitlements of every individual with genuine claims. “To assist our investigation, please make available the schedule of amounts of entitlements each of your clients have been paid, what each of them claims to be outstanding and the parameters for their calculation and expectations,”, the letter added.]]>

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