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In an “Unlawful Termination of Employment & Trade Restriction” suit filed against MTN Nigeria by 63 Ex-Staff at the National Industrial Court Ikoyi for terminating the employment of the said claimants on Nov 17, 2009 without due process. (Suit No: NICN/LA/596/2013)

The sitting Judge; Justice Lifu delivered judgment today Oct 26, 2016 in favor of the 63 ex-Staff (claimants) who were said to be pioneer staffs with a minimum of 5years in MTN’s employment.

Earlier the National Industrial Court on June 2, 2014 dismissed the preliminary objection filed by MTN Nigeria challenging the 63 Customer Relations staff unlawfully laid off in 2009 to file the suit in a representative capacity.
The court ruling was made June 2, 2014 by the President of the National Industrial Court; Justice Adejumo (OFR)

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The judge “threw away” MTN’s Preliminary Objection and ruled that the case has been “admitted for trial”. Accordingly, the Judge fixed 2nd and 3rd of July 2014 for the “trial” despite MTN’s objections.

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On July 2, 2014 after a brief court argument MTN’s lawyers opted for negotiation. Case was adjourned to give room for negotiation while…..the case came up again on 2nd October, 2014 for…..report of settlement/hearing with MTN Nigeria not making necessary effort but rather sit on the fence.

The case was later adjourned till April 28, 2015 and later March 25, 2015.

The case later entered the cross examination of witnesses from defendants and claimants earlier in 2016 and went on few adjournments with MTN’s Lawyers as  Aluko & Oyebode until October 26, 2016 was slated for judgment.

The Senate Committee on Public Petition had earlier condemned the lay off as published in its gazatte on Jan 2012 yet MTN never acted as advised.

On Oct 26, 2016, it was a scene of songs of praises and joyful tears by some of the ex staff present as Justice Lifu after minutes of reading the introduction to judgment and  the court’s decision ordered MTN Nigeria to pay the 4yrs last gross salary of each affected staff within 30days failure of which it will attract 10% monthly and N10,000 each for the cost of the case. The Claimant’s lawyer Barr. Adetunji Adeniyi-Adedoyin of AAA Chambers Lagos informed the judgment was a victory in God’s name and Oct 26, 2016 was the happiest day of his life.

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NB: The Judgment will soon be published in National Dailies. Interested Lawyers or law reporters can follow up at the National Industrial Court Ikoyi with the Suit No: NICN/LA/596/2013

 

Report as was compiled by a supportive Nigerian who had followed the case since 2013 though not a media person nor a law reporter..

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