The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), sitting in Akure, Ondo State, has adjourned till Oct. 15 for continued hearing, a case of N86.9 million unpaid salaries and entitlements filed by 56 Revenue Advisers in Kwara.
Justice Abiola Adewemimo, a Judge in NICN, adjourned the case on Tuesday during a sitting in the case between Ishola Oladimeji, 55 others as claimants, and Dr Abdulwahab Ibrahim, Dr Abdulwahab Ibrahim, Oluwafadekemi Ajao, Mr Mudasiru Akintola and Firmus Integrated Resources.
Dayo Akinlaja (SAN), counsel to all claimants, after calling his second witness, Hassan Olanrewaju, a banker, however, asked for an adjournment due to the need to call additional witnesses on the matter.
Olalekan Yusuf and Bisi Atolagbe, counsels to the first and second, and third defendants respectively, did not object to the application for an adjournment by the claimants’ counsel.
Speaking with News Diary NG, Akinlaja explained that the court had slated two days for the hearing, but the claimants decided to call more witnesses.
“As it is now, the case has been adjourned till Oct. 15 for continuation of hearing, because we had some exigencies, that is, we need to call additional witnesses on the matter,” he said.
The claimants, Ishola Olagunju, Aliu Usman and Abraham Olagunju, were suing on behalf of 53 other staff of Firmus Integrated Resources, for N86.9 million as their unpaid emoluments and salaries from 2015 to Oct. 2018.
NAN further recalls that the defendants, Dr Abdulwahab Ibrahim, Oluwafadekemi Ajao, and Mr Mudasiru Akintola, were carrying on business under the name and style of Firmus Integrated Resources and acting as cronies for the Kwara Internal Revenue Service of Kwara Government.
However, agreement between the company and Kwara Government was terminated in 2009, while a new name and style of Firmus System International Company took up the revenue business for Kwara Government.
Akinlaja said the claimants were inherited as staff of the company with the letter of appointment issued to them by the company in 2009.
He said all efforts to get the company to pay the entitlements and salaries spurned the letter of Dayo Akinlaja & Co to the Emir of Ilorin and Sen. Bukola Saraki, former President of the Senate.
According to the claimants, available information to them indicates that the defendants were acting in concert with some unknown cronies in collaboration with the Kwara Government and Kwara Internal Revenue Service.
The demands of the claimants include an order commanding the defendants to pay the salaries and entitlements due to the claimants from Nov.1, 2018 till the expiry of their employment in December 2019 or till lawful termination of the claimants’ employment.
The claimants were demanding 10 per cent interest per annum on the judgment sum from the date of judgment until it is fully liquidated.
The demand included an order commanding the defendants to issue a letter of official disengagement or approved retirement letter from the firm (Firmus Integrated Resources) to each of the 56 claimants.
It also added that the letter must be at the time of lawful termination of their employments or at the expiry of their terms in December 2019 to enable the claimants access their remittances to the Trust Fund as pension funds.