Wrongly dismissed NNPC worker pleads for pay 23 years after
Onwuka was employed in NNPC on 14th January 1980 as a Dispatch Rider in the Admin Department and his appointment was terminated on 24th July 1996 following an incidence he claimed he knew nothing of.
According to him, he received 48 letters from one Mrs. Agatha Okorie, a dispatch clerk of NAPIMS, which he dispatched to their destination through the Universal Postal Services (UPS).
“On 6th 1994, Mrs. Agatha Okorie from NAPIMS brought some letters again for dispatch, which were received by my colleague a casual staff, Mr. John Okotie who dispatched them through the same courier company (UPS) which NNPC was using then. He submitted the airway bills as usual to Alhaji Oguleye who was my immediate boss.
“After some months, I was arrested by the police with others on the grounds that one of the letters received from NAPIMS and dispatched was forged. At the police station, it was however discovered that the forged mail was among the one sent by the casual staff, Mr. John Okotie. But to my greatest surprise he was not charged to court along with me.”
He added he was subsequently placed on suspension with half salary and on 24th July, 1996 his appointment was abruptly terminated while the case was in court.
“Between 1st December, 1994-25th April, 2003 the case lingered in court and was subsequently struck out for want of evidence.”
The unsavoury situation rendered Onwuka in an untold hardship as his wife deserted him and lost one of his children because he could not afford to pay for the child’s medication.
In a letter signed by Onwuka’s solicitor, Chief Bolanle Olugbani, it was demanded that the conversion of Onwuka’s dismissal to retirement with full benefits and entitlement be carried out within seven days.
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