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Court rules 1.00 base salary to mean 100% in mathematical judgment

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Justice Nelson Ogbuanya of the National Industrial Court (NIC) has ruled in a landmark judgment that 1.00 base salary means 100 percent.
Delivering judgment in a case filed by Mr. Francis Ejeh Odeh against his former employers, Gasstocks Limited, seeking to resolve dispute arising from the method of calculating some aspects of his terminal benefits, upon his resignation from the employment, the judge held that 1.00 is 100.

The claimant had asked for eight reliefs amongst which was an order that 1:00 of any amount means one whole of that amount and not 1/100 of that amount.“An order of this court directing the defendant to abide by its terms and conditions in accordance with the contents of the said terms and conditions attached to the offer letter dated October 30, 2012.

“An order of this court directing the defendant to apply 1:00 in calculating the entitlements of the claimant, being what is contained in the terms and conditions attached to the offer letter dated October 30, 2012,” the claimant had prayed among others.

In his judgment, Justice Ogbuanya said 1.00 of an amount means one whole number and not a fraction; and when converted into percent, means 100 percent, not one percent. His words: “And 13th month as so expressed in exh.OJ1 means, an additional month of equivalent value in sum with every other month of the 12 months of the year. Thus, 1.00 of base salary means 100 percent and not one percent.

“Applying this interpretation would entail that: the expression 1.00 of monthly Base Salary is N100, 000, which is for 13th month; where monthly salary is N100, 000.

“The expression 1.00 of Annual Base Salary is N1, 200,000; where monthly salary is N100, 000 x 12 months.”The judge therefore directed the defendant to pay the claimant’s entitlement in the sum of N6, 183, 333, 32 in accordance with 1:00 of monthly and annual basic salary as contained in the terms and conditions attached to the offer letter dated October 30, 2012; the 1.00 having been interpreted to mean 100 percent.He also ordered the defendants to pay to the claimant the sum of N300,000 as general damages for breach of the employment contract.

“The above sums shall be payable to the claimant by the defendant within one month of this judgment, failing which it attracts 10 percent interest rate per annum until fully liquidated,” he ordered, adding that mathematical issue presented in the matter has once again provided justification for requiring performance in mathematics as a qualifying subject to study law in Nigerian Universities, “contrary to the erroneously held belief in some ill-informed quarters that those who opt to study law are bereft of mathematical and scientific abilities.”


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