Ex-bankers sue CBN, NDIC, others over N9.8 billion entitlements

NDIC

NDIC

Over 10,000 former workers of banks have sued the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) over the non-payment of their N9.8 billion gratuities 11 years after they were retrenched.

The former bankers filed a class action suit through the Registered Trustees of the Association of Ex-Staff of Non-Consolidated Banks of Nigeria and all ex-workers of eight banks not consolidated in the banks’ consolidation exercise at the National Industrial Court, Lagos Judicial Division on Friday.

The claimants had instituted the action on behalf of the ex-workers of eight banks including Allstates Trust Bank, Assurance Bank, Eagle Bank, Gulf Bank, Hallmark Bank, Liberty Bank, Metropolitan Bank and Trade Bank respectively.

A breakdown of the claimants’ gratuities showed that Allstates and Hallmark Bank both acquired by Ecobank were owed over N7 billion.At the inaugural hearing of the suit held at Court 2, presided over by Justice Benedict Kanyip at the weekend, the claimants’ counsel, Daniel Omotilewa recalled that following the N25 billion recapitalisation benchmark set by the CBN for banks under the ‘Guidelines and Incentives on Consolidation in the Banking Industry,’ the apex bank assured that those whose employment would be jeopardised as a consequence of the exercise will be paid their due entitlements in line with industry standards. They would even be provided soft loans to set up their small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs).

Meanwhile, the four banks represented by Messrs Olusola Oyebowale, Jenifer Aburime, C.M Omeke and Adekola Isaac Olawoye had raised preliminary objections over irregularity of the suit filed by the claimants just as they argued that it was statute-barred.

Speaking further, Justice Kanyip said the court could only take the claimants’ pleas on a case-by-case basis and not as a group. He, therefore, adjourned the case to April 26, 2017 for mention.

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