The Presiding Judge, Portharcourt Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, Justice Faustina kola-Olalere has ordered Tianjin Energy Resources to pay its former staff Mr Yeigagha Ebikabowei the sum of N235,188.80 as three years leave allowances and unremitted pension contributions within two weeks, with the sum of N100,000.00 cost of action.
The Court held that Mr Yeigagha has not discharged the burden of proving that his employment was wrongfully terminated and or unfairly dismissed contrary to the parties’ terms of service, discountenanced all the claimant’s arguments and claims on wrongful termination and unfair dismissal.
The claimant’s Yeigagha Ebikabowei had submitted that he was employed in March 2012 and his employment was confirmed after three months’ probation period, that the firm abandoned him in 2015 in their facility without terminating his employment and paying his entitlements despite all his entreaties and demands.
In defence, the firm contended that their contract with the claimant automatically terminated with the completion of their work to the knowledge of the claimant on June 2015 that the claimant’s claim that he rendered service on a regular and consistent basis every month from 2012 – 2015 is not correct, maintained that the claimant is not entitled to the entitlement claims.
In opposition, claimant’s Counsel U.O. Eghort Esq with N.A. Elemwa Esq submitted that Yeigagha’s was unfairly dismissed without giving one month’s notice or one month’s salary in lieu as stipulated in the contract of employment and failure to remit the pension deducted urged the Court to grant the reliefs sought.
Delivering judgment, the trial Judge, Justice Kola-Olalere held that the contract of employment between the parties made no provision for notice or payment in lieu for the automatic employment termination once the job the parties are working on is completed.
“The claimant did not present any evidence to the effect that the contract was not completed; it means that the completion of the defendants’ work was not in dispute between the parties.”