Court Orders CBN, NDIC To Pay Liquidated Bank Workers N5.7bn
Fred Omotara, Lagos
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC) have been ordered by the National Industrial Court sitting in Lagos to pay over N5.7 billion terminal benefits to over 1.000 bank workers affected by the recapitalisation exercise of 2006.
The duo are also ordered to pay another N10 million as general damage to the claimants.
The verdict which was given on Monday by the court, said the money is to be paid within three months from date of judgement failing, which will attract 10 percent interest until liquidated.
Justice Paul Bassi gave the order while delivering judgement in the case which was brought before the court by 1.116 claimants in 2018.
The elated staff shouted for joy when the judgement over the battle they have fought since the consolidation in 2006, was delivered in their favour.
Recall that the 2006 recapitalisation required the banks to raise their capital base from N2bn to N25bn.
For many of the claimants, their banks did not meet the CBN recapitalisation requirements and their banking licenses were revoked by the apex bank which appointed the NDIC as the liquidator.
The bank workers then sued the two organisations demanding the payment of their terminal benefits.
The two defendants raised several objections, insisting among other things they were not the employers of the workers and the suit disclosed no cause of action against them.
In his judgment, Justice Bassi dismissed the preliminary objections of the defendants and held while they may have acted in the general good by raising the capital base of banks in the country, it should not be done at the expense of the former employees.
By revoking the banking licenses of the non-consolidated banks, the defendants interfered with the employment contracts of the bank workers, a contract which would ordinarily have run its natural course with the claimants paying their benefits at the end.
The court then ordered the CBN and the NDIC to pay the workers within three months from the date of judgment failing which it will attract 10 percent interest until liquidated