14,000 ex-bankers drag CBN to court over unpaid entitlements

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Fourteen thousand ex-workers under the aegis of registered trustees of the Association of Non-Consolidated Banks, has dragged the Central Bank of Nigeria,CBN, Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation; ministers of Finance, Labour and Productivity; and the Attorney-General of the Federation to the National Industrial Court, Enugu Judicial Division, on Friday over the bank’s alleged refusal to pay their entitlements.

Other defendants in the suit, which is being presided over by Justice A.K Ibrahim, include Eco Bank PLC, United Bank for Africa, AfriBank (now Mainstream Bank) and Zenith Bank.

The ex-bankers prayed the court to determine “whether having regards to the CBN Guidelines and Incentives on Consolidation in the Nigerian Banking Industry of August 5, 2004, particularly the ‘Social Safety Net’,  the claimants are not entitled to be ameliorated and compensated in terms of their terminal benefits, salary arrears and allowances.

“Whether the tacit delay and intractable refusal of the defendants to implement the Social Safety Net and in so doing ameliorate and compensate the claimant job losses and redundancies as enshrined under the Social Safety Net is not tantamount to a denial to perform a statutory duty to a remedy enforceable by an order of mandamus.

“Whether it is proper for the first and second respondents (CBN and NDIC) to categorise the claimant’s employers within the meaning of ‘failing banks’ in the light of the provisions of Section 35, 36 and 38 of Banking and other Financial Institutions Act, (Cap B3 LF 2004) and section 494 (1) of Companies and Allied Matters Act, (Cap 59) and in consequence of such classification treat the claimant’s rightful benefit as other creditors.”

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