Court declares Ecobank staff’s involuntary resignation as constructive dismissal, wrongful

The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Friday declared the involuntary resignation of an ex-staff of Ecobank Plc, Ukamaka Temple, at the insistence of the bank as constructive dismissal and wrongful.

Justice Rakiya Haastrup also ordered that the bank should cease from demanding a loan repayment from the former staff.

She said the evidence in the court, showed that the claimant was compelled to tender her resignation.

According to Haastrup, the claimant in her resignation letter made reference to the directive of the bank as:

“Based on Human Resources directive this morning, I hereby tender my resignation letter.”

She said the bank did not debunk this assertion made by the claimant in any of their correspondences to the claimant.

Haastrup further held that the defendant put the claimant under pressure to tender her resignation and this amounted to constructive dismissal.

The judge said the loan taken by the claimant from the bank which was to be repaid by deductions from the claimant’s salary was tied to her salary.

She said the implication of the above was that the defendant cannot claim that the claimant defaulted in the loan repayment because the claimant was compelled to resign.

The defendant cannot demand for repayment of loan from the claimant who was now out of employment and whose salary was used as collateral for the loan.

Godfrey Eneye, the claimant’s counsel, said in his submission that the if the claimant’s indebtedness to the defendant were to be taken from her exit package, the bank will be the one indebted to her.

Eneye also said the claimant who was an Assistant Manager was informed to tender her resignation when she resumed for work on July 29, 2011 without prior notice or reason.

Bibian Urum, the defence counsel, however argued that there was no evidence by the claimant that parties agreed that upon her resignation, she will no longer be obliged to repay the loan irrespective of her employment status with the defendant.(NAN)


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