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Ex-newscaster sues DAAR communications over compulsory retirement

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A former newscaster with the African Independent Television (AIT), Peter Kumba, has dragged DAAR Communications Plc before the National Industrial Court, Abuja, challenging his compulsory retirement.

At the resumed sitting on Monday, the claimant’s counsel, Adesola Ajayi, told the court that the matter was slated for mention.

The judge, Justice Oyejoju Oyewumi, asked if the defendant had been served with court processes.

Ajayi affirmed that the defendant had been served, although they were yet to receive any process from them.

She also urged the court for an adjournment and accelerated hearing in the matter stressing that the claimant had suffered untold hardship since he had been compulsorily retired and he had not been paid his benefits.

The defendant was not in a court nor represented by a legal counsel for Monday’s proceeding.

The judge instructed the clerk to verify proof of service on the defendant and when it was verified that the process was served on Feb. 10, she said defence was to file its defence, adjourned the matter until April 10 for further mention and directed that hearing notice be served on the defendant.

Kumba in his relief is seeking a declaration that his compulsory retirement is inconsistent with the provisions of the defendant’s Internal Control Policies and Procedures Manual signed and dated Nov. 2, 2011.

The claimant is also seeking a declaration that he is entitled to his full retirement benefits, outstanding salaries, unpaid allowances, payment in lieu of annual leave and pension contributions.

In addition, he is also seeking an order of the court, directing the defendant to pay him the sum of N22.8 million being his unpaid terminal benefits as of Feb. 2018 and 21 percent interest rate per annum on the sum.

Kumba is equally seeking the sum of N5 million as general damages, another N30 million as exemplary and aggravated damages and N2.5 million as cost of prosecuting the suit.

Kumba, in his Statement of Facts, said he was employed in 2004 as an Editor and he was compulsorily retired on Feb. 12, 2018, when he had not attained the mandatory age of 65 years for retirement, neither had he spent 40 years as stipulated by the defendant’s Internal Control Policies and Procedures Manual.


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