National Industrial Court dismisses ex-staff’s severance benefit claim against Keystone Bank

The Kaduna Judicial Division of the National  Industrial Court has dismissed a severance entitlement claim filed against Keystone Bank by its former staff, Ogebche Nnamdi for lack of merit and credible evidence.

Mr Nnamdi had sought the court to declare that the termination of his employment over poor performance was unlawful and not in tune with his contract of employment.

The presiding Judge, Justice Sinmisola Adeniyi on Friday held that Mr Nnamdi failed to establish his entitlements to the severance benefits and damages of his claims.

What happened in court

Mr Namdi had argued that he was not guilty of fraud, gross misconduct, or negligence to warrant the denial of his severance benefits against the agreement by the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance & Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI).

The defendant (Keystone Bank) argued that the termination of appointment of Mr Nnamdi was done by the contract of employment with payment of his severance benefits.

The claimant’s (Nnamdi) lawyer, L. Ogor Esq. averred that his client’s acceptance of salary in lieu of notice is not an acceptance of alleged invalid and unlawful termination thereby denying him of his severance benefits.

While Mr Nnamdi prayed the court to grant his relief, Keystone Bank asked the court to dismiss the suit.

The Judge’s ruling

The presiding judge in her ruling held that the termination of Nnamdi’s appointment was not wrongful and there was no averment whatsoever as to Mr Nnamdi being a member of ASSBIFI, neither was any document tendered to prove that he was a member to enable him benefit from the collective agreement.

The judge held that Mr Nnamdi failed to plead or establish membership of the ASSBIFI and cannot rely on the collective agreement for his claims for severance benefits.

Justice Adeniyi further held that Mr Nnamdi failed to establish how he came about the computation of the amount claimed. She, therefore, dismissed the suit for lack of evidence and merit.