Justice Edith Noelita Agbakoba of the National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, has ordered multi -billionaire businessman and publisher of National Mirror newspapers, Jimoh Ibrahim and his companies to pay N100, 000 as cost for filling their responses to the suit filed by the employees of the newspaper.
Justice Agbakoba said the money should be paid before March 31, being the next adjourned date for the hearing of the suit.
Ten aggrieved employees of Ibrahim and his companies, Global Media Mirror Limited, Mirror Media Limited and Energy Press had dragged the publisher and his companies to court over the non-payment of their salaries.
Ibrahim is also the owner of Nicon Luxury hotel and Nicon Insurance, which are located in Abuja.
In the suit filed in October 2019, the claimants informed the court that Ibrahim and his companies refused to pay them their salaries despite the fact that they were working and making money for the company.
When the case first came up for mention on October 23, 2019, counsel to the defendants from Chief Akinlolu Olujinmi (SAN) chambers claimed they were appearing before the court in protest because the defendants have not been served.
On January 23, when the court sat to hear the case, another team of lawyers from Olujinmi’s Chambers and counsel to the defendants also claimed that the defendants have not been served.
This prompted the presiding judge to direct the court registrar to show the defence counsel proof of service in the court’s file, just as counsel to the 10 employees, Soji Toki promised to make copies available to the defence counsel.
On Wednesday when the case came up for hearing, counsel to the claimants, Soji Toki however, drew the attention of the court to the fact that counsel to the defendants refused to pick the copies he made for them and wondered where they got court papers used in filing their statement of defence.
Toki therefore, urged the court to award cost against the defendants and further informed the court that “counsel to the defendants filed the defendants’ statement of defence the previous day and served me in court this morning.”
Consequently, Justice Agbakoba ordered the defendants to pay N100, 000 to the counsel to the claimants and directed counsel to the claimants to file his response to the defendants’ statement of defence within two weeks.
She adjourned further hearing in the case to March 31