Guinness Nigeria Plc, along with three others, has been ordered by the National Industrial Court in Port Harcourt to pay N52.456 million in damages to an aggrieved former employee who was wrongfully terminated from his Sales Executive position in 2019.
The former staff, Bright Nwosu who was employed by Guinness Nigeria Plc in 2004 as a Sales Executive, initiated legal proceedings against the company on September 18, 2019, following his wrongful dismissal.
The court presided over by Justice Nelson Ogbuanya, in his judgment rendered for case NICN/PHC/108/2019, found that Guinness Nigeria Plc had unjustifiably terminated Nwosu’s employment.
The evidence presented indicated that Nwosu had been a diligent employee before his dismissal.
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The court also disapproved of Guinness’s policy, which allowed employees to be terminated without providing a reason.
As a result of the judgment, Guinness has been instructed to pay Nwosu N19 million and N886,000 for his terminal benefits and gratuity, considering his 15-year tenure with the company.
Additionally, Guinness is required to settle Nwosu’s two months of unpaid salaries instead of notice, totalling N570,000.
In terms of compensation for unfair labour practices, the court ordered Guinness to pay Nwosu N30 million, along with N2 million for litigation costs.
The court has stipulated that all awarded sums must be paid within two months from the date of the judgment. Failure to do so will result in an annual interest rate of 10% until full payment is made.
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Outside the courtroom, Cletus Azunku, representing A. A. Brown, the claimant’s counsel, welcomed the judgment, emphasizing its significance as a deterrent to employers who mistreat their employees in Nigeria.
On the other hand, K. C. Eze, counsel for the defendants, declined to comment, citing a lack of authorization to speak to the press on the matter.