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Sunday, September 29, 2013

If you're unlawfully sacked you can sue your bosses. Jenny did & won

People get sacked indiscriminately in this country and they don't know that they can actually sue and get compensated. Jennifer Adighije Okolo, the creative director of House of Silk, sued her former bosses and won. According to a report by Maestro Media, an Industrial Court sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos gave a ruling in favour of Jennifer against her former employer, Helios Towers, a telecom firm.
In the court ruling, the Telecom firm would need to pay, Jennifer Adighije-Okolo N13.55 million for unfairly terminating her employment. Jennifer before the sack was the company's Head of Operations & Planning.
The Company had terminated their former employee's appointment for what they had termed poor performance (performing below par), Jennifer not satisfied with how she was sacked had taken the company to the Industrial Court, Ikoyi, Lagos seeking for redress. The end result of the case is her winning #9 Million which is the sum total of her salary from between February 1, 2010 to January 31, 2012. Apart from the #9 Million, the defendant would also be paying the claimant another #4.5 Million for damages and also awarded in the claimant's favour is another #50,000 cost. 
According to Jennifer, she had been graded excellent by her immediate boss in her yearly appraisal, only for another appraisal body (the management review team) to have given an appraisal of below average, consequent upon which her appointment was terminated.

In his Judgement, Justice O. Abaseki-Osaghae said - The claimant testified as the only witness in support of her claims. She also stated that her performance was very much appreciated by the defendant that when there was a job rotation, she was asked to take charge as Head, Operation/Planning in September 2009. That all through her employment with the defendant, she was conscious of her personal objective with the defendant company, which she knew would form the basis of her rating in the annual appraisal.

"It is the law that an employer is not bound to give reason for terminating the appointment of its employee but where the employer gives a reason, the law imposes on him a duty to establish the reason to the satisfaction of the court.

“I find that the said management review team was acting out a script when, spitefully, maliciously and without any basis, wrote on the claimant’s appraisal form ‘Below expectation’ and recommended that her appointment be terminated.”

 The court upheld the claimant’s position that she was entitled to compensation, since she signed the restrictive covenant, not to work for any other telecommunication company, until after two years of her leaving the company.   “She has kept to this covenant. I, therefore, award the sum of N9million as compensation being her salary for two years from January 2010 to January 31, 2012 pursuant to section 19 (d) of the National Industrial Act, 2006.

 “For all the reasons given above, I find that the claimant has proved her case. I hereby, declare and make the following orders: the claimant’s employment with the defendant was wrongfully terminated. The letter of termination is hereby set aside. The reason given in the termination notice written by the defendant that the claimant’s “performance has failed to meet acceptable standard” is false and malicious.

“The defendant is to pay the claimant the sum of N4.5million as damages for wrongful termination of her appointment. The defendant is to pay the claimant the sum of N9million as compensation for the period February 1, 2010 to January 31, 2012. The sums are to be paid within 30 days from the date of this judgment. I award in favour of the claimant cost of N50, 000 to be paid by the defendant. Judgment is entered accordingly.”


100 comments:

BLOGLORD said...

Wow! Am marvelled at her courage.

Most people will let go, and let God

Critical Observer said...

who is her lawyer? what law firm? this is good stuff..

Rough Diamond said...

Nice one!

Anonymous said...

The judicial system did well for her. I bet this will make some supervisors in corporate organisations see for themselves before they appraise their staff.

Coleman Nkem said...

Wonderful! I salute or courage.

Wilsoniyke said...

I am very glad about this court ruling...In Nigeria employes are being treated as mere tool in the hands of the employers...This is a welcome development,this exploitation must stop....

Anonymous said...

I've always known this was the right thing to do,but then again the Legal system in Nigeria is a hot mess...you"ll need to have a Lot of money,influence and power to be able to win this kinda case against your boss who'll most Likely be very rich too...We won't know exactly all the things involved and how Genny was able to win her case,she won't tell the media everything..Anyways congrats to her.
PS,she is Beautiful








PRETTY GIRL

Layo said...

This is great news, and I hope more people follow suit, so that Nigerian organizations can learn to follow strict HR etiquette as opposed to doing as they feel. So so many Nigerians are constantly wrongfully dismissed. You can't be telling someone during appraisals that they are doing "well" and then terminate. Smh.

Wilsoniyke said...

This is a welcome dev.We have suffered in the hands of employers who always treat their workers like machines...

bettyblue Anyiman said...

All ye bad employers,God don catch una. Oya all justified employees mk una start now,hurry grab ur money,lol!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Good for heroo but who wan take her again? Cos nobody wants to get sued.

Anonymous said...

so good

Anonymous said...

That is great 2 hear 4 actually winning compensation 4 being wrongly terminated from ur employment in naija. I know this kind of legal victory is common in d western worlds, but it's my first time hearing it any a naija company. Godd progress!!!

I just hope more attention will be given to workplace sexual harassment cases, especially in banks n universities

ekeoma jennifer said...

i love this , thanks for that.with this , Nigerians will be able to take a bold step when they are on their right .




















Anonymous said...

Wow this is how we get it right gradually we would get there.

lucian doris said...

Wow! I just love people who know their rights.

Anonymous said...

That can happen if she's been with the company for a long period of time, and she was also a director at the time her appointment was terminated. There certain steps a coy must take b4 sacking a director which they didn't, that's y dey r paying vigorously. But can a mere worker who have worked for a short time sue and too

DJN said...

The court is wrong to award 2-years salary because she complied with the restrictive convenant. The covenant is part of the basis for which she was offered the job in the first place. The role she interviewed for was senior enough to warrant 4.5m per annum AND also senior enough to require a restrictive convenant. The employer has already paid for the convenant by paying her 4.5m per annum. On the flip side, it's like saying if an employer can claim against an employee if they find out that they did not truly work at their last employer. I hope Helios can and does challenge this ruling. It sets a terrible precedence which will affect all other employees badly in the long term.

hilary obiorah said...

FYI you need a good lawyer to win these types of cases. A good lawyer and a sh*t load of evidence or you risk proceeding turning on its head on you.

hilary obiorah said...

FYI you need a good lawyer to win these types of cases. A good lawyer and a sh*t load of evidence or you risk proceeding turning on its head on you.

hilary obiorah said...

FYI you need a good lawyer to win these types of cases. A good lawyer and a sh*t load of evidence or you risk proceeding turning on its head on you.

MSA said...

Maybe after her employer saw her throw that fancy wedding?I don't know. But good thing she sued them for what she was worth! You don't hear success stories against employers like this often. Especially in Africa. Well done.

chyko said...

Jenifer u are a woman of substance,i love ur bold step. 9m is a whole lot of money to start ur own business.

Anonymous said...

This can happen in Nigeria, God is good ooooo.

Anonymous said...

I'M HAPPY NIGERIANS ARE BEGINNING TO RECOGNIZE THEIR RIGHTS.

GALORE said...

A welcome Developement......

But everyone shud learn to be a good employee....

Dont see ds Medium and think you can get lazy @ work...and expect not to be sacked or gvn querries

REE said...

Now dats Justice!

Omotayo Alli-Hakeem said...

Helios Towers serves u right #BBM tongue out.

Anonymous said...

Wao omg I love dis, God bless d justice O. Abaseki-Osaghae.

★★PRINCE CHARMING™★★ said...

Nice one, we need more of this in this country, the courts gotta be the last hope of the common man.

chukwuma nkwontah said...

OK.. So i get where she coming from.. But this just gives room for dis gruntled employees to take their former bosses to court.. P.s. Linda ejoo whats the procedure like with the industrial court..

esan abiodun said...

WooW! This is news, be sure to keep that in mind

lolo said...

With the telecom firm employer's liability insurance policy, they don't have to pay her but the insurer

janelicious said...

Wow dis is nice so dat all dis private companies will not be fireing their employees as they wish.

da uyi said...

This was during Obj's tenure. Wont n can't happen this present dispensation for lawlessness abounds. May •G̲̣̣̣̥ÔD̶̲̅ help us all.

Winnie Tom said...

O boy see groove!

Anonymous said...

9c one! Happy 4her! Imagine d stress she went tru when her employment was terminated upon her hardwork

Anonymous said...

This is what sane people do, they sue for compensation, not take their cases to the yeye blogs where people start hurling insults and cursing the companies.

Kudos to the lady.

cyndi christal said...

Woow dats some kul cash..guess she had a very clever lawyer τ̅☺ defend ha..

diamond said...

Impressive. Dis will atleast sound a warning 2 coys dat sack unwarrantedly. But she had a clean record o no go sue wen u kn say ur hands no clean. He who comes to equity must come wit clean hands.

ONYX GODWIN said...

Lol!! Bush meat don catch hunter!she don hammer oo!! 13mill!! Whew!*ONYX GODWIN*

MiddyO said...

Finally! There's hope for true justice in Nigeria.

Anonymous said...

Woow dis ℓ̊ƨ̣̣̇̇ an eye opener,congrat dear some bose will learn.

55 'CENT said...

Satisfy.

ZAMBRANO CJEU said...

Nice one!

teawhy said...

Wonderful...wonderful

Anonymous said...

Tis ruling gives me great joy. It is so sad when people are indiscriminately sacked for no justifiable reason. I hope employees wake up to this realisation, and employers become more aware that not everyone is a slave, or a doormat. You put in years of service, only to be dealt a blow hard as dismissal. I think employees are also to blame, most of us think that licking ass, and sucking up to people is the way to secure your job. Perform beyond expectation, stay away from office politics, conform with ethics of yourmprofession and trust me, no Jupiter can change your destiny.

We need many more cases such as this. Correct girl Jennifer, beauty and brains

kane said...

yeah stand up for your rights in Bod Marley's tone wish this is how all nigerians can act.

folusho adesanya said...

very fair, cheers to jenny!

Anonymous said...

Breach of contract!

folusho adesanya said...

very fair, cheers to jenny!

Tgirl Missp said...

Lucky u,is nt every1 it will favour

ARAMIDE WAHAB said...

Well I gues in naija ere we dnt knw all our rights, its tru u can sue ur boss 4 wrongful termination. Saw it in a movie called SUITS. Its good to read wide and be watch productive movies

*Minxy* said...

Sweet!

UDOAKU EZE said...

GREAT!now bosses would be smarter....but abeg readers na ikoyi e happen oooo if u work in mushin,etc accepy ur fate

Anonymous said...

Am d 1st 2 comment @obiblaq.....#lol..dis is like my 1st comment ever and am doing 1st 2 comment

Anonymous said...

Wowza! Are we still in nigeria? Dis is GOOD!

Ayo Badejoko said...

Lobatan!

Adeyinka said...

*in Davido's Voice* omo see gobe

Only if most Nigerians know their rights, these private firms won't exploit them anyhow.. Rubbish... Jenny baby, biko Use the cash to establish urself jare. You deserve it.

Ephriam Moses said...

wow...change is in the air....first to comment

Chikaka said...

She knows the law and she knows her rights. Very well done

Anonymous said...

I wish every employee cld make use of this opportunity,bt sometimes I wonder if it was that easy.

Princess said...

Matse pls do same ooo I miss u muchy

Anonymous said...

you wanna sue? holla@tall_lawyer08@yahoo.com

Anonymous said...

Dats wat happen wen U̶̲̥̅̊ r enlighten..ple dnt kick your ass around

Barry9ice said...

nice 1, not until we stand up to fight for our right such ridiculous act will still persist in our society. i also want to do the same, i want to sue one of the Govt. public transport for infringing on my right, only dt i don't know of any human right lawyer wo can help me take d case up, cos i don't have enoff money to engage d service of a lawyer.

fly guy said...

a good development in naija

Ifyody said...

A lot of bankers face this same story! But the don't sue.

Anonymous said...

I love harvey specter!!! Plus linda m ur no 1 fan bt if u dnt post dis i wld change ma mind *tears bra*
Esterdean

Anonymous said...

Very well delivered Judgement.... I hope this serves as a lesson for all those employers who maliciously terminate the appointments of their employees.... I hope to see more of these judgements if this is what it'll take to bring sanity to our employers of labor!

Anonymous said...

It's good to see people taking actions against unjust treatment by companies and bosses. My oga will get the shock of his life soon, he is serial sexual harasser, very inappropriate and unprofessional, what annoys me is that mgt is lax towards him. By the time I sue the coy and my boss, then they'll sit up!

jamar said...

Is there anything wrong with letting God? Some fights r better fought on your knees. Depends on one's relationship with God.

Anonymous said...

Olodo!!! With 13milion u know fit open business?

Anonymous said...

Make una see d money first b4 una dey hail her. In Nigeria system wen a lower court gives a ruling which is not in favor of some d matter will be taking to a higher court. Trust me, she shouldn't celebrate yet. D drum isn't over yet.

Anonymous said...

Time to sue the so called Huawei Technologies. They pay peanuts, treat their staff unjustly and terminate contracts at will.

Anonymous said...

Abegi! if she didnt have connections in Nigerian government and had the resources to follow through, I wonder if she would have gotten this judgement..
Naija! everything na connections!

Israel Akanmidu said...

i'm a lawyer. I have represented a number of individuals get good judgments against their employers so it isn't new and the National Industrial Court is a court specialized in such matters. Note the following:
1. there is nothing like being "unlawfully sacked", your appointment is either terminated or you are dismissed from employment.
2. Anyone who is an employer can terminate the employment of any employee whenever he/she wants.
3. it all depends on the terms of your contract with your employer.
Considering Jenny's position at her former place of employment, she had a high level position so I don't expect her terms of employment to be paltry.

Cynthia Ibhe said...

Bod Marley?! Really?! *smh*

Anonymous said...

i thought helios paid well...4.5m for head of operations is dismissal at bets

SIMPLYCOCK said...

Linda...the court did not say, the claimant's employment was UNLAWFULLY terminated.
On the contrary, the court said her employment was UNFAIRLY or MALICIOUSLY terminated.
These are two different things altogether.
It is trite law pursuant to Common Law principles that the relationship between the employer and the employee is a master-servant relationship.
To that extent, an employer has the right, as he is also at liberty, to sack the employee at will, even summarily, without so much as furnish explanation for the action.
Note that the judge even in the instant case stated the position of law in this regard.
The Court of Appeal ruling in LONGE v. FBN also reiterates this position of law.
In the instant case, the court gave judgment in favour of the claimant simply on the grounds that the defendant company gave explanation for terminating the plaintiff's employment without being able to establish the veracity of the reason so furnished for a fact.
It would have been enough if Helios had just told the plaintiff, "You are fired...your services are no longer required.
Period.
Rather than stop at that they proceeded to furnish reason for their action.
That was superfluous, and they are paying dearly for it.
Doubtless, this is a unique judgment and good law at that!

Anonymous said...

Linda should have sought the opinion of the company to balance the story. I have read the story from different media and discovered that Jennifer's account of his work with the said company is incoherent. to balance your news and make your blog a delight to intelligent and educated people, always seek to speak with or clarify issues as this from both Parties. I don't think she won award for best researcher as she said by always being on facebook during working hours.

Anonymous said...

What y'all don't know is that Jennifer's father is a serving Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. So before y'all go on suing the Employer rampage, make sure u are well connected.

Anonymous said...

if this is possible in Nigerian then i encourage all unfairly staff sacked from globacom to proceed to the courts immediately.

Anonymous said...

@ anon September 30, 2013 at 3:13 PM her Dad was a Senator.

Anonymous said...

Stale news read about it 2weeks ago in other blog, step up ur game Linda pls

Anonymous said...

Good Girl that knows her right.

Anonymous said...

Whoever was on the management board what recommended her appointment be terminated, after a good appraisal should be made to pay this compensation. That was the number 1 goof on the company's part. Either that or their lawyer was super stupid. If she was under performing, had there been queries before the dismissal and subsequent warnings or other disciplinary measures? This is what you get when you employ incompetent pretty girls with no prerequisite experience, Sahara is another one. Watch out

Anonymous said...

Learned counsel,I beg 2 differ.Termination of employment may indeed b unlawful.dis happens where there is a statute regulating dat employment.in such a case,d employment is said 2 have statutory flavour.Any move 2 fire such an employee must conform 2 d requirements of dat statute-LONGE v FIRSTBANK.Therefore,an employee who enjoys such protection may indeed b reinstated(u find such employments in d civil service etc)so I respectfully do not agree with ur points 1 and 2 above.

Anonymous said...

With respect,LONGE v FBN decided no such thing.D ratio in dat case is dat d respondent bank failed 2 comply with d provisions of d statute(CAMA) regulating d employment of d appellant.since d employment of d appellant is one with statutory flavour,any move 2 terminate his services must comply with said statute otherwise he would be entitled 2 a reinstatement.in essence,employments backed by statute are an exception 2 d general common law rule .

Anonymous said...

Learned counsel,I beg 2 differ.Termination of employment may indeed b unlawful.dis happens where there is a statute regulating dat employment.in such a case,d employment is said 2 have statutory flavour.Any move 2 fire such an employee must conform 2 d requirements of dat statute-LONGE v FIRSTBANK.Therefore,an employee who enjoys such protection may indeed b reinstated(u find such employments in d civil service etc)so I respectfully do not agree with ur points 1 and 2 above.

Anonymous said...

i was one of those sacked too, and im glad jenny got justice. Her sack was baseless she is very intelligent and assiduos certainly one the most educated and qualified in the company. she was just being victimized by an unscrupulous managment review team.
congrats jenny...

Anonymous said...

wooowwww..!!! jenny please give me my share ohhhhhhh....

NowSomeoneShouldSueThatHookerCompanyCalledTFG said...

Waiting for someone to SUE that hooker company that won't stop advertising on their houses in Dubai on the internet! Heard the girls there are being asked to sleep with men to sell houses that don't even exist.

Anonymous said...

If with the money she got she is waiting for someone to employ her then dn she is not creative. More so u will be surprised its now she will be sortted for

SIMPLYCOCK said...

Anonymous September 30, 2013 at 8:06 PM:
Before you disagree with my opinion, let me draw your attention to the fact that my submission in this thread is limited to the facts of the instant case AS MADE AVAILABLE IN THE REPORT.
Needless to point out that the employment of the plaintiff is one without statutory flavour.
So the question of statutory or no statutory flavour DOES NOT arise here.
The fact is: the court did not say the defendant company sacked the plaintiff unlawfully, but rather maliciously or unfairly.
Granted the question of the unlawfulness of the sack could have arisen if the plaintiff's employment was one with statutory flavour, in which case the procedure of her sack was not in strict compliance with statutory provisions regulating such action...
Employments in public corporations or the public service are often employments with statutory flavour.
The question of unlawful sack could also have arisen if her sack was not in compliance with the rules set forth for such action as laid down in the "Employees' Handbook" of the defendant company, if there were any, that is.
As you are aware the Employees' Handbook has as part of its functions the detailing of the general terms of engagement of an employee in a given company.
A breach of the terms of reference therein constitutes a breach of contract, for which a plaintiff can seek redress in a court of law.
The employment of directors of companies also resembles employment with statutory flavour given that the procedure for employing or sacking of directors is regulated by the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA).
The addendum to the points made above is that the plaintiff's employment is not one with statutory flavour.
And I am positive that wasn't raised as an issue in swaying the court in its decision and award...

SIMPLYCOCK said...

Anonymous September 30, 2013 at 8:06 PM:
Note I referred to the Court of Appeal decision in LONGE v FBN. Not the Supreme Court judgement per Ogundare, JSC.
The Court of Appeal in that suit gave judgement in favour of FBN on the strength that Bernard Longe was not a director in the real contemplation of CAMA, but an ordinary employee...a servant of the company and subject to Common Law principles regulating the master-servant relationship between the employer and the employee.
The argument of the learned counsel to FBN Chief Richard Akinjide (SAN) and with which the court agreed is that the directors whose terms of engagement and disengagement is regulated by CAMA are the non-executive directors; not executive directors.
It was the Supreme Court that gave judgement in favour of Longe.
Both the High Court and Appeal Court all gave judgments in favour of FBN...
Please read your law reports with attention to details...

Jeff said...

LMAO! See argument.

Active said...

sometimes it's not as complicated as all that..can't u see how tenacious she was..since 2010? the average Nigerian would say..let's leave it for God or lemme just get another job or 'she's rich and will manipulate things' ...or they simply don't know they can pursue it...

the courts do work...it may take a long time...but justice does get served

Anonymous said...

Mahmud of access bank take note because its you that will be taken to court not IK.hisses alot of people that bank has frustrated and they will still be announcing gor new intake. Linda post my comment I just had time to check past post.

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