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COUNSEL'S CHANGE STALLS SACKED WORKERS' SUIT

By NBF News
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By ABDULWAHAB ABDULAH, ONOZURE DANIA & MICHAEL OLADEPO

IKEJA - Four years after 63 workers of Unilever Plc were sacked, their expectation for the commencement of the case, yesterday, before an Ikeja High Court, Lagos, was dashed, due to change of counsel.

The matter is before Justice A. Emeya. At the hearing, yesterday, a new counsel who replaced their old lawyer, informed the court that he had just taken over of the case and  needed to study the case file as well as amend the claims earlier filed by the claimants.

The workers, who dragged the company to court were relived of their duties on December 3, 2008, following which they approached the court, praying same to declare their sack, illegal.

According to the new counsel, efforts by  the Office of the Public Defender of Lagos State Ministry of Justice to resolve the issues relating to the claimant's employment failed, which led to the court action.

The workers are praying the court to order the defendant to pay them N300 million as compensation for exemplary and aggravated damages, for the unlawful termination of their employments.

They also want the court to grant them N900 million, being their outstanding entitlements as salaries, allowances and redundancy benefits due to them  from November 2008 till period of judgment entered in their favour by the court.