Justice Salisu Danjidda of the Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court (NICN) has declared the detention of one Mr Adebayo Adesina’s accrued salaries for November and December 2018 and two weeks’ leave encashment by the Veritas Glanvills Pension as wrongful.
Consequently, Justice Salihu has ordered Veritas Glanvills Pension to immediately pay Mr Adebayo, its former Managing Director, the sum of N6, 895, 740 million, as Salaries for November and December 2018 and N1, 705, 260 million, outstanding two weeks Leave encashment.
The judge also ordered the firm to pay Mr. Adebayo the sum of N200, 000, as cost for instituting the suit.
The judge, however, declined to grant Mr Adebayo’s claims for severance package, constructive dismissal and damages for bereft of merit.
The Facts Of The Matter: The claimant, Mr Adebayo Adesina, had told the court that he resigned from the company due to deliberate attempt by the firm’s Board to frustrate and force him out of office as the Managing Director of the company Veritas Glanvills Pension.
He also told the court that his resignation was accepted by the Pension firm with immediate effect on November 8, 2018, as against the December 31, 2018, as stated in his letter of resignation, and is entitled to salaries for November and December 2018, including other entitlements.
In defending the suit, the firm, Veritas Glanvills Pension, denied any form of intimidation and submitted that Mr Adebayo’s resignation letter was done in breach of the contract of employment because it falls short of the length of notice that is required for the successful termination of the employment of contract between the parties.
The firm urged the court to direct the claimant, Mr Adebayo, to pay three months’ salary in lieu of notice.
The firm further told the court that Mr Adebayo, can only be entitled to annual leave after 12 months of continuous services, but he only served from January 15, 2018 to October 24, 2018.
The firm therefore urged the court to dismiss the claimants’ case and grant its counterclaim as sought.
Countering the firm’s counter-claims, the claimant through his lawyer, submitted that following the service of his resignation letter, the firm vide Exhibit C22 accepted his resignation, and asked that same take immediate effect thereby asking him not to work till December 31, 2018, and the surrounding circumstances irresistibly point to the fact that his `resignation wasn’t voluntary but rather constrained to resign in light of the things he was passing through in the hands of the firm.
In reply, Counsel to the Veritas Glanvills Pension contended that the doctrine of waiver does not apply to the facts and circumstances of this case, and urged the court to discountenance the submission of Mr. Adebayo’s counsel.
Delivering judgment in the suit, Justice Danjidda, after careful evaluation of the submissions of both parties, held that the court is not persuaded that Mr Adebayo resigned his appointment because of the Veritas Glanvills Pension’s behaviour.
The judge further held that Mr Adebayo having put in his resignation to take effect on January 1, 2019, is entitled to his salary of November and December 2018 as he had chosen to stay with the firm up to the December 31, 2018, and there is absolute power to resign and the firm’s acceptance of the resignation becomes inconsequential.
The judge therefore declared that the detention of Mr Adebayo’s accrued salaries for the months of November and December 2018 and two weeks leave encashment by the defendant as wrongful.