Court Directs Guinness to Pay Ex-employee N52.456 Million in Damages

Guinness Nigeria Ordered to Pay N52.456m Damages to Wrongfully Terminated Employee – Court Verdict and Implications

In a groundbreaking ruling that resounds profoundly within the corporate sphere, the National Industrial Court situated in Port Harcourt has mandated Guinness Nigeria Plc, along with three other defendants, to recompense an aggrieved ex-employee, Bright Nwosu, a hefty sum of N52.456 million in damages.

The court arrived at this decision following the wrongful termination of Nwosu from his Sales Executive position in 2019. Let’s dissect this important case and see how it affects the business world.

Background of the Case

Profile of the Aggrieved Party: Bright Nwosu
Bright Nwosu, who had been serving in the capacity of a Sales Executive since his employment in 2004, found himself unexpectedly severed from his position in 2019.

Recognizing the injustice of his dismissal, Nwosu initiated legal action against his former employer on the 18th of September, 2019.

The Unjust Termination
Justice Nelson Ogbuanya, overseeing the case documented as NICN/PHC/108/2019, adjudged that the termination of Nwosu’s engagement with the company was indeed unwarranted. The evidence showed that Nwosu was dedicated and committed at Guinness.

Faulty Corporate Policy
Guinness’s Problematic Employee Firing Policy

The case exposed a big problem with Guinness’s policy: firing employees without proper reasons.

The court disapproved of the policy, emphasizing the need for fair labor practices.

Implications of the Policy
This violates employee rights and harms the company’s image, which could affect its business reputation.

The Judgment Breakdown

A Breakdown of the Monetary Compensation
In light of the unfair treatment meted out to Nwosu, the court decreed Guinness to pay various sums as reparations.

These encompass N19 million and N886,000 as terminal benefits and gratuity, acknowledging Nwosu’s 15 years of service at the company.

Additional Financial Repercussions
Furthermore, the company is instructed to cover two months of Nwosu’s unpaid salaries, amounting to N570,000, which is deemed as a notice period settlement.

In a bold move to admonish unfair labour practices, the court also commanded Guinness to remit N30 million to Nwosu, along with an additional N2 million to cover litigation expenses.

Payment Timeline and Consequences of Non-compliance
The court has stipulated a strict timeline of two months from the judgment date for the completion of all payments.

A failure to adhere to this timeline would invoke a recurring annual interest rate of 10% until the full payment is settled.

Responses to the Judgment

Reactions from the Claimant’s Counsel
Outside the courtroom, the verdict was welcomed with open arms by Cletus Azunku, the legal representative of A. A. Brown, Nwosu’s counsel.

Azunku emphasized that this judgment plays a crucial role in deterring employee mistreatment in Nigeria.

Defense Counsel’s Stance
In contrast, K.C.Eze, the defendants’ attorney, refused to comment on the judgment, stating he wasn’t authorized to discuss it with the media.

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