16th April, 2021
The Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD) has secured a favourable landmark judgment and compensation in a case involving its client, Muraina Taiwo and Nahman Construction Ltd.
According to the Director, Office of the Public Defender, Dr. Babajide Martins, Justice Mustapha Tijani of National Industrial Court, Lagos Division, has ordered the defendant, Nahman Construction Ltd to pay the sum of N1.5 million to its former employee, Muraina Taiwo, as compensation for trauma and pains suffered.
He added that the Court also ordered the defendant to pay the claimant’s salary from August 2015 to the date of judgment delivery.
The Director explained that the claimant, Muraina Taiwo, was a casual labourer at the defendant’s construction site at the Landmark Event Centre, where he had an accident in September 2015.
He was rushed to the hospital and surgery was carried out on his leg after the payment of the hospital bills by the defendant.
Dr. Martins said the defendant refused to pay for a second surgery on the claimant after he was informed by the hospital that another round of surgery was required to correct the injury to his knees, adding that stoppage of the claimant’s salary, despite non-termination of his employment, compounded his situation.
“In a bid to seek redress and justice, the claimant hired a lawyer that filed the matter in court in 2016, but the lawyer stopped coming to the court due to unpaid bills. The claimant’s case was on the verge of being struck out by the Court when it was referred to the Office of the Public Defender to avail him free legal services”, the Director explained.
“The OPD, in line with its statutory responsibility of defending the rights of defenceless residents of the State, swiftly deployed some of its best hands to represent the claimant and sought for various reliefs in court on the claimant’s behalf. It was the tenacity, discipline and uncommon professionalism exhibited by the OPD Counsels during the hearing that resulted in the favourable judgment for Muraina Taiwo”, Martins asserted.
Expressing satisfaction with the outcome of the case despite the fact that the claimant’s case was referred to OPD at short notice for free legal assistance, the Director enjoined Lagos residents to always take advantage of the free legal services to protect their rights.
He urged employees having any dispute with their employers on issues bordering on compensation, gratuity, non-remittance of pension and wrongful termination of contract of employment to come forward for free legal assistance and representation.