THE National Industrial Court sitting in Awka, Anambra State, has adjourned till June 6, 2017, for commencement of pre-trial in the suit by 235 workers unceremoniously laid off without sack letters, redundancy letters, non-indebtedness letter and non-payment of three years’ salary arrears.
The trial judge, Justice W. Abali, after listening to counsel to the 235 workers, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Sanco Calaya J.V. Nigeria Limited, agreed on a pre-trial to clear uncertainties in the matter and adjourned the case to June 6.
The claimants’ counsel, Chief V. Otomiewo, who was represented by Jarikre Dave, prayed the court to be allowed to amend their statement of facts and bring in a few more documents and asked for pre-trial of substantive suit.
Chevron’s counsel, Akpomudje Albert, SAN, asked the court to order service of the hearing notice on Hensteel Engr. & Construction Services Limited “because of the company’s absence in court since the inception of the case,” even as Sanco Calaya J.V. Nigeria Limited’s counsel, Kem Ebun, who was in court for the first time, was given 14 days to file his processes.
The disengaged workers were engaged by four of Chevron’s contracting firms: JOCECO Nigeria Limited, Pat Onosen Nigeria Enterprises Limited, Sanco Calaya J.V. Nigeria Limited and Hensteel Engr. & Construction Services Limited.
They are praying the court to compel Chevron and its four contracting firms to pay them damages of N100 million each, totaling N23.5 billion.