The National Industrial Court on Wednesday was informed by parties in a suit filed by a staff of the CCECC, Mr Godspower Ntaka, against the company, of the possibility of an out of court settlement.
In the suit, Ntaka is seeking N100 million in damages as he is claiming the amount for alleged emotional trauma, psychological anxiety, mental stress and discriminatory treatment arising from his ordeal in the hands of armed robbers during an official duty.
When the matter which was slated for definite hearing came up, the claimant’s counsel Mr Cornelius Nwapi informed the court that the defendant had approached them and requested for the parties to explore the possibility of an out of court settlement.
Nwapi in addition said that the parties met on Dec. 13, also agreed to meet on Jan. 14, 2020 to enable them settle out of court as regards the claimant’s claims.
He therefore requested the court for a date to allow parties come back either for report of settlement or definite hearing.
The judge, Justice Olufunke Anuwe in response adjourned the matter until Feb. 25, 2020 for report of settlement.
The claimant (Nkata) in his statement of facts filed on March 27, stated that he was attacked by armed robbers on Aug. 25, 2012 while on an official errand as a security supervisor.
He said he was in company of two other workers, Mr Emeka Amadi, the company’s chief security officer and Mr Bennett Kalu, a driver in the company too.
He said that Kalu was discovered to have been killed by the robbers after he (claimant) and Amadi reported to the police and in company of the police returned to the scene of the robbery.
The claimant said thereupon, the police took him and Amadi to the Special Anti robbery Squad (SARS ) where he was detained from Aug. 29, 2012 until Oct. 11, 2012.
He said that it took the services of a private lawyer who filed for the enforcement of his fundamental right at an FCT High Court before he was released from SARS.
The claimant said he was then charged to court and was in prison custody from May 2013 until September 2018 when he was discharged and acquitted.
He averred that his ordeal was a result of an official errand he was sent to do by the company and that the company abandoned him.
The company, he said, stopped his salary while in prison custody and took no steps either to defend him or offer any succour.
He said that after his discharge and acquittal, the company has not taken any step to rehabilitate him and pay compensation.
He therefore seeks the court‘s declaration that he was still a staff of the company and entitled to all the rights, privileges and benefits due to him by reason of his employment.
The claimant is equally seeking for the order of the court to direct the company to pay all his outstanding salaries, benefits and entitlement since 2014.
In addition, he is asking for the sum of N100 million as damages for the abandonment, emotional trauma and psychological anxiety, discriminatory treatment, loss of opportunity to further his education, inconvenience and hardship among others.