Justice Abiola Adewemimo of the Benin Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria has ordered Fidson Healthcare Plc to pay the sum of N4 million to its former employee, Mr. Obateru Olufemi Abidemi, for illegally withholding his first-degree certificate despite asking for it to be returned to him.
Business Post reports that Mr. Abidemi worked with Fidson as a pharmacist for over two years and one of the conditions for getting the job in August 2007 was for him to deposit his Bachelor of Pharmacy degree certificate with the company.
However, trouble started after he resigned in December 2009 and his three letters to Fidson between 2013 and 2016 demanding the return of his original certificate were ignored.
This forced him to file a complaint before the court in January 2018, claiming his fundamental right had been violated by the defendant.
He also said the refusal of the drug-making company has made him suffer psychological trauma, mental pains, distress, embarrassment, and inconvenience. He, therefore, asked the court to direct the company to return his certificate and pay him the sum of N5 million as general damages.
But Fidson, in its defence, denied all the allegations, saying it held the certificate because the claimant had outstanding indebtedness of N9.234 million after reconciliation of the accounts.
According to Fidson, on several occasions, the claimant sold goods to customers and refused to remit the proceeds to the company as a result of which, he was asked to proceed on two weeks suspension without pay with effect from July 7, 2009.
The company informed the court that on December 28, 2009, the claimant suddenly resigned his appointment without clearing the alleged debt, which the claimant denied.
In her ruling, Justice Adewemimo dismissed Fidson’s counter-claim, emphasising that, “The refusal of the defendant to release to the claimant, his original Bachelor of Pharmacy certificate is unlawful.”
The judge further held that “The defendant is hereby ordered to within 72 hours of this judgment, release to the claimant, his Bachelor of Pharmacy certificate.
“The defendant is hereby ordered to pay to the claimant the sum of N4,000,000 (Four Million Naira) as general damages.
“All judgment sums awarded in this suit shall be paid within 30 days failure upon which it will attract a 10% interest per annum.
“A cost of N200,000.00k cost is hereby awarded against the defendant.”
Culled: Business Post
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