The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Tuesday ordered Bluemoon Ltd. and Globacom Ltd. to pay an ex-staff member, Mr Nnoke Dike, an accommodation allowance of 9,125 US dollars within 90 days.
The allowance as ordered by the court was per diem at 125 dollars per day for 73 days.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Dike was employed by Bluemoon (first defendant) and posted to Globacom (second defendant) in 2013 as an Executive Officer.
After confirmation of his appointment, he was transferred to Gloworld, Ghana, in October 2014, from where he resigned.
Dike had approached the court to seek redress after his resignation, claiming that his accommodation allowance was withheld on the premise that he was accommodated at an official quarters of Globacom.
Delivering judgment, Justice Rakiya Haastrup held that evidence before the court showed that Dike was accommodated by a colleague in an official quarters of the defendant in Ghana.
She said that it was not the responsibility of a staff member to provide accommodation for a colleague on behalf of the employer.
She said that in determining the case, the court adopted the sole issue distilled by the defendants in their written addresses.
According to the judge, the issue was whether the claimant had sufficiently proven his case to be entitled to 67,000 dollars at 125 dollars per day for 536 days, as he claimed.
Haastrup held that evidence before the court showed that the number of days the claimant’s accommodation was not paid for was 73 and not 536 as he claimed.
The judge ordered that the defendants should pay the claimant an allowance of 9,125 dollars at 125 dollars per day for 73 days.
She also ordered payment of N50,000 as cost of the prosecuting the suit, against the defendants.
The judge said that the judgment should be complied with within 90 days after which the judgment sum should attract 10 per cent interest per annum.
She noted that per diem meant a specific amount of money an organisation could give an employee to cover living expenses when travelling for work.
Mr Victor Uma, the claimant’s counsel, had submitted that his client was employed by Bluemoon and posted to Globacom on July 7, 2003, as an Executive Officer.
Uma averred that the claimant’s offer of provisional appointment was confirmed on July 9 ,2004, and he was transferred to Gloworld, Ghana, on Oct. 28, 2014.
The counsel added that the claimant was paid per diem for 14 days at 125 dollars per day, pending the time he would be given an official accommodation in Ghana.
Uma said after the first 14 days, no official accommodation was provided for the claimant and his per diem was stopped.
He said that the claimant made several attempts to get the allowance, but was never paid, on the grounds that he was squatted in Ghana in an official accommodation by a staff of the Globcom. (NAN)