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Woman cries for justice over wrongful termination of appointment, 20 years on

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JusticeAFTER 20 years of suffering emotional and psychological trauma as a result of the unlawful termination of her appointment by Henley Industries Limited Lagos in 1995, a middle-aged woman, Mrs. Chisara Nwosu, has urged her employer to urgently comply with the judgment of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Lagos, which gave judgment in her favour.

The woman, who was engaged as a Steno-typist by John Edge & Company Nigeria, a sister company of Henley Industries in October 17, 1985 told The Guardian that she has not only suffered emotional trauma but also financial difficulties as a result of the unlawful act.

According to the information gathered by The Guardian, Mrs. Nwosu’s predicament started shortly after her promotion to the position of a junior Supervisor on October 1, 1993.

Although the promotion was meant to change her life, it turned out to be the beginning of her sorrow, as some elements in her office seemed not to be happy with the promotion.

In a bid to frustrate the promotion, The Guardian learnt that the woman was, through a memo dated May 15, 1995 and signed by the Personnel Manager, one Mr. J.I. Akinwunmi, transferred to Henley Chemical Agbara, a company she said was yet to be operational.

When Mrs. Nwosu, who was made redundant, wrote the General Manager on June 12, 1995 for a transfer back to the head office, her appointment was terminated when she was still observing her annual leave.

But dissatisfied with the sack, Mrs. Nwosu approached the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Lagos seeking among other reliefs, a declaration that the letter by Henley Industries Limited (the first defendant) dated June 22, 1995 purportedly terminating her appointment with John Edge & Company Nigeria Limited (second defendant) “is illegal, null and void.”

Mrs. Nwosu sought a declaration that her employment with John Edge & Company (Nig) is still valid and subsisting with the attendant rights and liabilities. She also sought an order reinstating her into her employment with full benefits and payment of all outstanding salaries, entitlements and bonuses from January 1995 up till judgment date, as well as an order directing the defendants to pay her the sum of N307,150.00 with interest from 1995 until judgment.

But in a judgment delivered on September 30, 2014 by Justice K. I. Amadi, the National Industrial Court ordered the defendants to pay Mrs. Nwosu all her arrears of salaries from June 1995 till date.

In making the order, the court held that the letter of the first defendants dated June 22, 1995 purportedly terminating Mrs. Nwosu’s appointment “is void and of no effect, as her employment is still valid and subsisting.”

However, counsel to the defendants, Isaac Boro, in a letter to Mrs. Nwosu’s counsel, Chinelo Chinweze dated January 19, 2015 stated that her employers, John Edge & Company Nigeria Limited, has since been wound up voluntarily by the promoters of the company.

The lawyer advised Mrs. Nwosu to approach the liquidator of the company to make her claims, saying the record of liquidation and that of the liquidator could be obtained from the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Mrs. Nwosu told The Guardian that the letter was an attempt to deny her the benefits of her judgment.


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