1st April, 2011
Four of the 2000 disengaged staff of Intercontinental Bank Plc, are set to sue the bank over non- payment of their severance packages and other entitlements, running into millions of naira.
P.M.NEWS learnt that on 18 December 18, 2009, the management of the bank handed out disengagement letters to the affected staff, as part of its decision to down size, due to the consolidation in the banking sector.
The letter signed by Habila Amos, Head, Human Resources, reads in part: “In accordance with the terms of your employment, you will be paid three months basic salary in lieu of notice in addition to other benefits, which you are entitled to (if any).”
According to Amos, while the management of the bank has approved that the disengaged staff be paid the new monthâ€™s basic salary as ex-gratia, they will be advised about the position of their terminal accounts, as soon as it has been computed.
However, checks by P.M.NEWS further revealed that on 22 June 2010, four of the 2000 disengaged taff: Usman Mansur, Salau Muritala Oladipo, Akene Oroboveru and Demola Adekoya petitioned Office of the Public Defender in Alausa, Lagos Southwest Nigeria, complaining of being disengaged with immediate effect on 18 December 2009, without the payment of their full benefits and compensation, having worked for between 9 to 11 years as middle management staff of the bank.
Usman Mansur, leader of the disengaged four told P.M.NEWS that Intercontinental Bank treated them unfairly as the Article of the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) clearly states that payment of compensation and terminal benefits should be based on the number of years they had worked and not the post consolidation years.
At the mediation meeting conducted on 15 July 2010 by Office of the Public Defender between the four ex-staff and Dapo Tijani, Head, Benefits and Compensations unit of the bank, Tijani said that the petitioners are not entitled to their full benefits and compensations based on the number of years they worked, because Intercontinental Bank officially agreed in 2005 Post-Consolidation period, when several banks merged with it, to pay such benefits.
According to Tijani, this means those five years were deducted from the total number of years they had worked.
However, when Tijani produced the post consolidation agreement at the OPD mediation meeting, there was nothing written to prove his defence, compelling the directorate to state that the bank has not fulfilled its part of the agreement by giving the petitioners their full benefits and compensation.
Usman told P.M.NEWS that ex-gratia is not compensation or benefits, but gift to show appreciation, for having served the bank creditably over the years.
“Therefore we have no other option than to head to court, having explored all amicable avenues of seeking redress on the injustice and illegality meted out to us by the management of the bank,” Usman said.