The National Industrial Court of Nigeria, sitting in Awka, Anambra State, has joined Chevron Nigeria Limited as a party/defendant in the N23.5 billion suit by 235 disengaged workers of four contractors to Chevron, who are challenging their unceremonious lay-off without sack letters, redundancy letters and non-indebtedness letters.
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.
Trial judge, Justice W. Abali, in a ruling after listening to Chevron’s counsel, Mr Akpomudje Albert, SAN, held that Chevron is a party in the case with reference suit No: NICN/Awka/39/2015 and cited relevant paragraphs in the claimants/plaintiffs’ originating motion.
Justice Abali thereafter, adjourned till March 27, 2017 for commence of hearing in the main case.
It will be recalled that the court had adjourned till October 25, 2016 to rule on whether or not Chevron is a party in the suit by nine of the workers, including, Mr. Patrick Gbetah, Mr. Edward Usino, Mr. Frank Panama and Benedict Atiyota, but the case was on the said date further adjourned to February for the ruling.
The disengaged 235 workers are praying the court to compel Chevron and its four contracting firms to pay them N100 million each as damages, totalling N23.5 billion.