The court has exclusive jurisdiction in civil causes and matters relating to or connected with any labour, employment, trade unions, industrial relations and matters arising from workplace, the conditions of service, including health, safety, welfare of labour, employee, worker and matter incidental thereto or connected therewith.



In Calabar, Industrial Court orders firm to pay Eyibio 21 months’ salary within 30 days

398 Tuesday 5th September 2023

The Presiding Judge, Calabar Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Sanusi Kado has ordered De-Obabob Investment to pay Clement Eyibio the sum of N1,260,000.00 (One Million Two Hundred and Sixty Thousand Nara) being his unpaid 21 months salaries and N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira) cost of action within 30 days.

Justice Kado held that Clement Eyibio has discharged the burden of proof imposed on him by law on his entitlement for 21 months' arrears of unpaid salaries by De-Obabob Investment.

From facts, the claimant- Clement Eyibio had submitted that he was employed by De-Obabob Investment since 2012 and worked till September 2014 when the company purportedly terminated his employment. 

Eyibio maintained that the company are indebted to him for 21 months’ salary as he was only paid four months’ salary from the date he commenced work up to September 2014 when his service was purportedly terminated. 

In defence, the defendant- De-Obabob Investment Ltd prayed the Honourable Court to dismiss Eyibio’s claims for being frivolous, lacking in merit, feckless and vexatious. 

The firm alleged that Eyibio’s gross misconduct and insubordination led to the termination of his appointment, and also averred that it is also impossible for a family man like Eyibio to work from 2012 to 2014 without pay and asserted that they have paid the claimant all his salaries for the period he served the defendants and are not indebted to Eyibio.

In addition, the defendants maintained that Clement Eyibio who absconded his duty post for four (4) months without an approved leave should not be heard crying foul for breach of contract.

In opposition, the Claimant’s counsel N. A. Nachamada, Esq submitted that the termination of Eyibio’s appointment has never been an issue and urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.

Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Sanusi Kado held that there is no iota of evidence adduced by De-Obabob Investment Ltd in proof of their claim that they have paid Clement Eyibio all his arrears of salaries, and the firm did not take into consideration the facts that alleging payment of salary is within their knowledge as they are the only persons in position to tell the court how much they paid to Eyibio and how the payment was effected or made. 

The Court held that failure by De-Obabob Investment to adduce evidence of the payment of the salaries to Clement Eyibio is fatal to their defence, and Eyibio’s claim on arrears of salaries succeeded.

On alleged insubordination as justification for termination of Eyibio's appointment, the Court discountenanced the company argument and held that there is nowhere issue of termination of Eyibio’s employment was raised, that the claimant’s case before the court is claim for payment of his arrears of unpaid 21 months salaries.

“The claimant is entitled to arrears of unpaid salaries for 21 Months in the sum of N1,260,000.00 (One Million Two Hundred and Sixty Thousand Nara) Only.” The Court ruled.

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