Ex-employee sues coy over wrongful dismissal

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A former employee of Buhler Limited has dragged his employer of thirteen years to court over wrongful dismissal.

Buhler Ltd and Buhler Holdings A.G has been charged before Justice Mohammed Yinusa of a Federal High Court Lagos as the first and second defendant in the suit.

According to the claimant, Rotimi Salako, he was employed in the United Kingdom in 2002 as a store person by a company Buhler-Sortex – a subsidiary of the second defendant.

Salako claimed to have worked hard over the years and he rose through the ranks until he became the applications specialist (grain specialist).

He also averred that he had dual citizenship which made him a British and Nigerian citizen and his primary place of residence with his family was the United Kingdom.

Salako also claimed to have been deployed by Buhler Group to Nigeria on July 1, 2013, as an expatriate with the designation as an Area Sales Manager to come and set up and build the second defendant’s company in Nigeria with a salary package of $68,000 per annum.

He also claimed that he rented an office in Lagos, hired staff and he was designated to be the Managing Director of the 1st defendant.

Having started the company, Salako also added that he received a letter of termination of contract on November 24 2014, from two of the Directors of the company, Andreas Fluckiger and Roman Sonderegger both Swiss nationals.

He further claimed that he did not receive any prior notice from the company as far as the decision to terminate his appointment was concern.

Salako also claimed that he was faced with some challenges within the company, with some other expatriate staff, who were all claiming that the Swiss nationals were apprehensive that he would become privy to the inner workings of the Buhler Group in Nigeria and their modus operandi of doing business.

He claimed that the British law made provision that a company that made a staff of over twelve years redundant, some redundancy payments should be made to the laid off staff.

However, Salako maintained that his contract was terminated wrongfully and unlawfully and is therefore urging the court to grant an order that defendant’s Board of Directors could not lawfully hold a meeting about the termination of his contract without giving him a notice.

He therefore prayed the court to grant an order for the payment of N100 million by the defendants for service rendered as a Director and a Managing Director.

He also demands that the defendant should be made to pay the sum of £14,250 for the redundancy payments of the 13 years of service from the second defendant.

The matter has been adjourned till February 10, 2016.

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