Court Orders UBA To Pay N76m To Dismissed Staff

The National Industrial Court has awarded over N76 million damages against the United Bank for Africa (UBA) for wrongful termination of the appointment of a staff, Patrick Modilim.
The court ordered the bank to pay the above stated sum not later than 30 days from the date of the judgment, failing which post-judgment interest of 10 percent shall start to run on the judgment sum.
The judgement, delivered by Justice B.B Kanyip in a suit filed by Dr. Charles Mekwunye on behalf of Modilim against UBA, held that Modilim’s employment was constructively terminated after 20 months of service.
The court held that there was evidence that the Modilim may not have resigned his employment as at the time he did but for the fact that he was asked by the Executive Director (human resources) of the Bank, Kennedy Uzoka, to resign.
This evidence, the judge ruled, was also corroborated by the second claimant’s witness who stated that he was there at the meeting between the claimant and Uzoka, when the executive director asked the claimant to resign.
Justice Kanyip told the court that there was also proof that the letter of acceptance of resignation was dated March 30th, 2010, whilst the claimant’s letter of resignation was dated March  31st, 2010.
On this ground, the Court held that the claimant was entitled to three months notice or three months salaries in lieu of notice. The Court therefore awarded the sum of N1,120,221.60 to the claimant as damages for wrongful termination.
It said the N75,535,128.00 is the total sum Modilim ought to have been paid as his emolument as General Manager for the 20 months he worked for the UBA after his confirmation.
It noted that “the confirmation letter of August, 27th 2008, although silent as to the position for which the claimant was confirmed, the fact that the claimant was employed as a Deputy General Manager clearly supports the inference that his employment as Deputy General Manager was confirmed.”
It declared that “the defendant’s failure to confirm the appointment of the claimant as a General Manager was a breach of his contract of employment contained in the offer letter and letter of commitment both dated 23rd November, 2007.”
  “The claimant’s agreement with the defendant is regulated by the claimant’s letter of employment, letter of commitment both dated 23rd November, 2007, the performance contract and the defendant’s staff handbook. The court therefore held that these documents taken together contain the terms of the claimant’s employment.

That the confirmation letter issued to the claimant clearly showed that he had met all the conditions outlined in the performance contract and that the claimant had an expectant interest in the defendant honouring its part of the contract. On this basis, the court awarded the sum of N75, 535,128.00 as claimed by the claimant in his relief. 


Chris Kehinde Nwandu is the Editor In Chief of CKNNEWS || He is a Law graduate and an Alumnus of Lagos State University, Lead City University Ibadan and Nigerian Institute Of Journalism || With over 2 decades practice in Journalism, PR and Advertising, he is a member of several Professional bodies within and outside Nigeria || Member: Institute Of Chartered Arbitrators ( UK ) || Member : Institute of Chartered Mediators And Conciliation || Member : Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations || Member : Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria || Fellow : Institute of Personality Development And Customer Relationship Management || Member and Chairman Board Of Trustees: Guild Of Professional Bloggers of Nigeria


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