Guinness Ordered by Court to Compensate Former Employee with N52.456 Million in Damages

The National Industrial Court, sitting in Port Harcourt, has ruled that Guinness Nigeria Plc and three other defendants must compensate a former employee, Bright Nwosu, with a sum totaling N52,456,000 million due to his unjust termination of employment.

Bright Nwosu, who joined Guinness Nigeria Plc in 2004 as a Sales Executive, took legal action against the company on September 18, 2019, following his wrongful dismissal.

In a verdict delivered in the case bearing the reference NICN/PHC/108/2019, Justice Nelson Ogbuanya, presiding over the court, found that Guinness Nigeria Plc had acted wrongly in terminating Nwosu’s employment without valid justification. The court reviewed evidence presented, which demonstrated Nwosu’s diligence in his role before his sudden termination.

Furthermore, the court declared the company’s employees’ handbook provision unacceptable, which allowed the termination of employees without explicitly stating the reasons behind such actions.

As part of the judgment, Justice Ogbuanya ordered Guinness to pay Nwosu N19 million and N886,000 for his terminal benefits and gratuity, given his 15 years of service before being let go. Additionally, the court directed the company to settle Nwosu’s two months of unpaid salary in lieu of notice, amounting to N570,000.

For the unfair labor practices suffered by Nwosu, the court awarded him N30 million in damages and an extra N2 million as litigation costs.

Justice Ogbuanya emphasized that all awarded sums must be paid to the claimant within two months from the date of the judgment’s delivery. Any delays in payment would result in a 10 percent annual interest charge until the full amount is cleared.

Outside the courtroom, Counsel for the claimant, Cletus Azunku, who represented A. A. Brown, expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision. He noted that the judgment should serve as a deterrent to employers who mistreat their employees.

Azunku explained, “This judgment is significant, as it sends a clear message to all employers. While employers have the prerogative to terminate employment contracts, they must adhere to the terms of the contract, and regulations must be followed strictly.”

On the other hand, counsel for the defendants, K. C. Eze, declined to comment, stating that he lacked the authorization to speak to the press regarding the matter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like