The House of Representatives Committee on Public Petitions chaired by Rep. Nkem Abonta has given a final 21 days ultimatum to Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) to declare its position on the case of staff members of Diamond Bank Plc who were sacked without any form of compensation.
Abonta stressed that the position of the CBN would guide the committee’s final decision on the case as CBN supervised all commercial banks in Nigeria.
He directed the committee’s secretary to officially write again to notify CBN of the 21 days ultimatum to declare its position on Diamond’s bank’s action.
Recall that on the May 27, 2016, Diamond Bank Plc sacked 373 staff without any form of compensation.
Some of the affected staff members were nursing mothers on compulsory and vital maternity leave; some were on sick bed as a result of the hazards on the job while some were on medical leave for one form of ailment or the other.
“ These affected staffers sacrificed everything they had to ensure the bank made yearly profits while they served. It is rather unfortunate and inhuman that they were sacked without any form of compensation or severance package.
“ To add salt to the already inflicted injury on the sacked staffs, the bank went ahead to debit all affected staffers for the rents, economic subsidy and medical allowances they were paid upfront in January of 2016.
“This is barbaric and inhumane on the part of the management of the Diamond bank. This is absolutely not the way to treat your former employees especially those who painstakingly risked their lives for the bank to break new grounds in the banking sector.
“ How can these staff members go back to collect already paid house rents from their landlords to refund the bank, this is shear wickedness and malicious of the bank, to think that they would treat ex-employees of the bank with such levity and impunity, this wicked act really should be condemned by everyone to also check a further reoccurrence as in the banking sector.’’
More so, on March 28, the committee ruled that both CBN and NDIC be invited to guide the committee in its efforts to put the case to rest once and for all, after hearing from the counsel to the complainants that CBN was aware of the conflict, but could not wade into the case to call Diamond Bank Plc to order, since the matter was already in court.
Abonta had asked the counsel to the complainants to withdraw the case from the court so that CBN could wade into the matter to which the counsel religiously complied with, withdrawing the case from the National Industrial Court, Jos.
The affected staff members of the bank seek for justice and they are hoping that the CBN, NDIC and the House of Representatives will timely deliver a fair judgment to all the affected staff members.
They want the stakeholders to ensure that all their rights, benefits and severance packages are fully paid in order to ameliorate the sufferings and hardship they are currently facing due to the harsh economic conditions.