Workers drag tobacco firm to industrial court in Ibadan over alleged inhuman treatment
Justice Faustina Iyabode Kola-Olalere of the National Industrial Court, Ibadan Division has adjourned a compensation suit filed by four former workers of the British American Tobacco Company, BATCO till January 21, 2018.
The suit also joined the National Social Insurance Trust Fund, NSITF as co-defendants in their suits which were filed separately and independently.
In a suit filed on their behalf by their Counsel, Mr. Adeyinka Kotoye, the workers are seeking compensation for various injuries sustained while in the employ of the giant tobacco products manufacturers.
However, the counsel to the tobacco company was absent in court, while the counsel to the second defendant, NSITF, Mr. Yemi Giwa made his appearance.
The plaintiffs’ counsel argued that there were about ten different lawyers that have been mentioned in documents by the tobacco company and wondered why it is claiming that its counsel has travelled out of the country, when any of the lawyers could have represented it in court.
Lawyers to the second defendants and plaintiffs, together with the presiding judge agreed on November 21, 2018 for further mentioning of the case and that of seven other sister cases.
The presiding judge, however, told the counsel to the defendants to advise his clients to settle the aggrieved workers in the interest of peace.
Declining mediation in the case, she said she was being careful about her stance being misconstrued by any of the parties.
On noting that one of the claimants had died in the process of seeking solution to the case, she called for amicable, alternative solutions to the case.
Kotoye told The Guardian that NSITF should note that they are a regulatory body and hence should show a level of professionalism in the matter.
‘’We have approached them severally and they kept shifting the goal post.
‘’What they should realize is that it is a statutory function which they cannot avoid.
‘’In this instance, they should ensure that justice is done to our clients,’’ he said.
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