The National Industrial Court sitting in Calabar, the Cross River state capital, has set July 5, 2021 for hearing in a case involving Mr Anthony Idagu, former staff of the United Bank for Africa (UBA), and the bank’s management.
Mr Idagu had dragged the bank to the National Industrial Court over its refusal to pay him his entitlements after 18 years of service.
Our reporter gathered that the case, in suit number NICN/CA/20/2019, would be presided by Justice Sanusi Kado in Court 1.
Recall that Mr Idagu is claiming that he was deployed from the Calabar branch of the bank to Ikom in central Cross River in April 2013 as a cash officer where he served diligently until July 11, 2018 when the bank asked him to resigned.
Explaining what led to the said forceful resignation, Idagu averred that as a cash officer of the Ikom branch of the bank, he was saddled with the responsibility of carrying out integrity test for all staff of the branch following reports of underpayment of customers, and that he diligently discharged this duty as a cash officer.
According to him, in carrying out the integrity test, one of the customers was used alongside other staff and that a particular staff failed the test.
He said, “I carried out the integrity test in conjunction with the Operations Officer of the branch with the aid of cameras without the knowledge of the tellers and one of the tellers (name withheld), failed the test.”
Idagu further stated that he reported his finding to the Control Officer, who rather than discipline the staff, said the erring staff be advised verbally and allowed to continue work.
“We have on record several queries on the said staff, bordering on allegation of cash suppression, under declaration including that of integrity test on January 31, 2018 but no action was taken against him.
“The integrity test register was signed by the Operation Manager and he followed his instructions given to him by the Branch Operations Manager to register every outcome of the integrity test which he duly signed,” he submitted.
Idagu said when he insisted on the right thing to be done with sanctions against the erring staff, a committee was set up which suspended him while the erring staff was left untouched.
The suspension, he said, went beyond the recommended three months, explaining that it was only matters which did not involve external forces that should last up to five months, and that despite the obvious lopsided decision, he was invited and asked to resign.
“After eighteen years of meritorious service, I was asked to resign just like that, and when I wrote in the resignation letter that I was asked to resign, they rejected it and said I should remove the clause ‘asked to resign’ and that I should say that I was resigning voluntarily. This was designed just to ensure that I do not get my benefits.”
He prayed the court to order the bank to pay him his outstanding salary and emoluments.