Ex-directors sue Odu’a over non-payment of entitlements
Some former top management staff of Odu’a Investment Company Limited have dragged the company before the National Industrial Court (NIC), Ibadan division over non-payment of entitlements worth over N50 million.
The complainants include former Executive Director, Finance, Alhaji Rasaki Adeniyi Badmus; former General Manager, Mr. Bola Jaiyeola and former Managing Director, Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, Mr. Kayode Adenigba.
The trio told journalists at the premises of the court yesterday, that they took the company to the court presided over by Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale because the management refused all entreaties to pay their entitlement.
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 court for the payment of the sum of N19, 575,069.77 while 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 payment of N4,268,697.89, his final entitlements.
A counsel to the trio, Olabisi Ibironke, argued that her clients retired about four years ago, tried several ways to get their entitlements, hence they approached the court with the belief to sought relief.
Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale after listening to arguments of counsel to both the claimants and defendants however adjourned the cases till April 26, this year for proper mentioning.
But, Head of Corporate Affairs of the company, Mr. Victor Ayetoro, in his reaction said that he was surprised that the ex-staff had dragged the company to court despite continuous engagements with them.
Ayetoro said that the delay in the payment was due to the serious financial issue Western Hotel (Premier Hotel and Lafia Hotel) one of the subsidiaries of the company is currently undergoing.
He said that Odu’a Investment Company Limited as a parent company came to the aid of the Western Hotels by seeking for loan to refurbish the hotels as well as settle these outstanding liabilities.
Ayetoro said “The Ex-staff (Badmus, Jayeola, Adedipe, Salami, Aderinto, Oyeleke and Adenigba) were employed into the services of Premier Hotel, a subsidiary of Odu’a Investment Company Limited. As senior managers, they were deployed at various times to serve in the management team of sister hotels, Lagos Airport Hotel Limited, Lafia Hotel and head office.
“However, considering the time they retired and to demonstrate commitment to honour the promise to pay in 2017, Odu’a pressurized Western Hotel to raise some amount of money which was paid to all the ex-staff in December 2017.
“We have also continually engage with the ex-staff; it is therefore surprising that they have dragged Odu’a Investment Company Limited to court.”
Disputing Oyetoro’s claim, Jaiyeola said he was not employed by the Premier Hotel. He said he was a director in Odu’a before he was seconded to the hotel to serve, arguing that it was inappropriate to link his entitlement to the fortune of Premier Hotel.