Justice Anthony Ubaka of the National Industrial Court sitting at Ikoyi, Lagos has fixed March 18, 2020 to hear a suit filed by former employees of Bua Limited over alleged non-payment of their entitlements.
The case, which came up on January 22, 2020 was scheduled to come up for continuation of trial, particularly continuation of examination in chief of the claimant’s first witness, Mr Kolapo Ahmed.
When the matter was called, the claimant’s counsel and the second defendant’s counsel were in court for the day’s proceedings but the counsel to the first defendant was absent but had written a letter seeking for an adjournment of the matter because the date clashed with another matter in which he is the lead counsel at the Calabar Division of the Court of Appeal.
The lead counsel for the claimants, Olugbenga Akinlabi on the other had requested that the application for adjournment be varied so that the entire day will not be wasted and to allow the claimants continue with their examination in chief, while parties will take another day to cross examine the claimants’ first witness.
The court in a bench ruling agreed with the first defendant’s application for adjournment on the ground that it is the first time he would be making such an application.
The court subsequently adjourned the matter to March 18, 2020 for continuation of the trial.At the end of the day’s proceedings, Akinlabi urged the claimants to exercise patience. He said: “The wheel of justice may grind slowly but they should be rest assured that it grinds smoothly; that at the end, justice will not only be done but would be seen to have been done to all parties”.
Speaking on behalf of the workers, Sylvester Akasan said they were disengaged from Bua International Limited and engaged to another food company called Quintesential Food. He said they filed the action because Bua did not pay them in line with its handbook. He added that the new company also breached the payment agreement and “we brought the two parties to court for refusing to pay us according to our agreement.”
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