Gratuities: Court Strikes Out Former Fidelity Bank Staff Suit

Justice James Agbadu-Fishim of the National Industrial Court, NIC, Lagos, has dismissed the case of unpaid gratuity and allowance involving Fidelity Bank Plc and Andrew Awoyemi, a former staff of the bank.

While striking out the case at Court 1 of NIC,Ikoyi on Friday, Agbadu-Fishim held that both the claim and counterclaims lack merit.

In his judgement, Agbadu-Fishim said Awoyemi, the claimant failed to prove how he is being owned allowances and entitlement by the bank. He also noted that Awoyemi, actually started work with Fidelity Bank Plc, the defendant in 2007 and not 1998 as claimed by Awoyemi, hence he is not entitled to any gratuity.

Also, the judge declined to grant the prayer of the defendant, wanting the court to make Awoyemi pay the debt he is said to be owing the bank. Agbadu-Fishim ruled that the said debt is an allowance giving to the claimant for furniture and some other upkeeps.

Reacting to the judgement, Awoyemi said it as disappointing,”but I will need to study it before I make final decision.”

The long-drawn legal brawl between Awoyemi and Fidelity Bank Plc has dragged on since January 2012. The delay in the legal tussle is believed to have been caused by the repeated absence of the defendant’s counsel from the court.

Awoyemi, had sued Fidelity Bank Plc for unlawfully turning down his request for the payment of terminal benefits worth about N7 million after he was sacked. But the bank argued that the plaintiff has not served the bank for the required number of years that would have qualified him for gratuities.

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