From Godwin Tsa, Abuja
The National Industrial Court has adjourned till December 14 for African Alliance Insurance Plc, (AAI), to open its defence in a multi-million naira suit filed against it by a female award-winning staff, Mercy Aershimana Orga.
In the suit mark No. NICN/ABJ/383/2019, the claimant, is challenging the secret withdrawal of an Award Prize presented to her by the company.
Justice Edith Agbakoba fixed the date after the cross-examination of the claimant by counsel to the Insurance company, N.J. Obiezu on Thursday.
Meanwhile, the claimant has closed her case against the company after presenting her oral and documentary evidence before the court.
In her evidence during cross-examination by the defence counsel, the claimant maintained that the company secretly withdrew the car from her soon after it was publicly presented to her.
It was her evidence-in-chief that African Alliance Insurance PLC gave her a target on an annuity of N240 million in that year but due to her hardwork, she exceeded the target by getting N500 million which led to the award of the car to her.
She had tendered through her counsel, Odu Onabe, some relevant documents in support of her case including a letter of employment, guarantor form, award plaques, statements of facts and details of wrongful deductions from her accounts and an internal memo.
Asked if she have any documents given to her by the company to prove ownership of the vehicle, the claimant told the court that the car was publicly presented to her as a reward for exceeding the N240m annual target at event that was widely reported in the media.
Orga added that she equally had several telephone conversations with the past leadership of the company on the need to be issued with documents of proof of ownership.
“In 2017 when there was a change of management, I had a telephone conversation with them on the issue of ownership documents, but they maintained that there was no need since the vehicle was presented to me as an award and has been with me for four years,” she testified.
The claimant had earlier narrated her harrowing experience, Orga, who was an outstanding employee of the defendant, told the court how she was disengaged because she went for a surgical operation.
That despite her illness, the company refused to give her medical leave.
She is further praying the court to order the company to pay her the value of the car ceased from her; payment of 2% of National Provision Fund money owed as contributory pension by the Defendant; payment of the balance of savings, and the amount expended in the Markurdi office as well as payment of amount erroneously deducted from her by the misappropriation of the agents totalling about N10 million.
Meanwhile, the company has disclosed its intention to open its defence by calling one witness on the next adjourned date.