By G9ija

A former senior executive officer of John Holt Plc, Mr Martin Nwabuwa, has sought the intervention of the Federal Government in his demand for his N22.910million retirement benefits.

He accused John Holt management of refusing to pay him his benefits despite a Court of Appeal judgment which affirmed a National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) verdict on the matter.

The appellate court in a judgment delivered on July 17, 2020, had dismissed John Holt’s appeal against the verdict of NICN delivered by Justice John Dele Peters in the matter in favour of Mr. Nwabuwa.

In the judgment delivered on April 2017, the court has ordered John Holt to pay the retiree N19.2 million, which included his gratuity and other entitlements as well as interest from October 2009 up to date of final payment.

However, 10 weeks later, John Holt has refused to pay the judgment debt and has ignored the letter of demand by the retiree.

In the acknowledged letter of demand dated July 23, 2020, and addressed to the Managing Director of John Holt Plc, the retiree’s counsel, Sola Iji & Co, demanded that judgment-debtor comply with the judgments by paying the N22.910million.

The breakdown of the benefits are: N8.211 million as gratuity, N2.683 million for six months’ salary in lieu of termination, N50, 000 as cost of proceedings at NICN, N11. 765 million being the 10 per cent interest per annum on the entire judgment sum from October 2009 to July 2020 as well as N200, 000 being cost awarded by the Appeal Court.

Nwabuwa was employed by Jon Holt in 1992 on Assistant General Manager grade and rose to Senior Executive grade in January 2009 after 18 years of meritorious service.

On October 16, 2009, he was prematurely retired through a letter dated October 16, 2009, when he was 52, short of three years retirement age, without the normal six-month retirement notice in line with conditions of service embodied in the Human Resource Manual 1.

Nwabuwa’s bid to collect his entitlement began with legal action in Lagos High Court, Ikeja in 2010.

The House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Compliance intervened in the dispute, with parties appearing before the committee on three different occasions, but the matter returned to the Industrial Court.

The retiree is, therefore appealing, to the authorities to ensure he reaps his judgment benefits in his lifetime.

Management of John Holt Plc has acknowledged receipt of the letter from the retiree’s lawyer.

The company secretary of the firm, Mrs Ada Nwocha, said the management was aware of the judgment debt and was working on it.

She, however, did not put a time frame for the liquidation of the N22.9 million judgment debt.