Ex-staff drag Odu’a Investment Company to court over non-payment of entitlements


Some former top management staff of Odu’a Investment Company Limited have dragged the company before the National Industrial Court, Ibadan Judicial Division over non-payment of their entitlements running to over N50m.

The ex-staff include former Executive Director, Finance and Planning, Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Alhaji Rasaki Adeniyi Badmus; former General Manager, Business Development, Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Bola Jaiyeola and ex-Managing Director, Lagos Airport Hotel, Ikeja, a subsidiary of Odu’a Investment Company Limited, Mr. Kayode Adenigba.

Alhaji Badmus who retired in June, 2014 in the claim sheet number NICN/IB/12/2018 said he approached the court to seek for the payment of the sum of N26, 545,267.40, his final entitlements. Mr. Adenigba who retired in December 2014 on the other hand in his claim sheet number NICN/IB/13/2018 approached the industrial court for the payment of the sum of N19, 575,069.77 while Mr. Jaiyeola who retired in June 2014 in his own claim sheet number NICN/IB/11/2018 said he had no option than to approach the court for the payment of N4,268,697.89, as his final entitlements.

The trio while addressing journalists at the premises of the court on Thursday, declared that they had to drag the company to the court presided over by Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale due to non-payment of their final entitlements running to over N50m.

They informed that they had tried all efforts, met stakeholders and top personalities from the six owner states of the company (South Western states) to persuade and prevail on the incumbent Group Managing Director of the company, Mr. Adewale Raji, but all efforts made to ensure that the matter did not become a media issue proved abortive. They said they were left with no option than to approach the court to claim their entitlements.

Mr. Jaiyeola who spoke on behalf of the trio said they decided not to make the issue a public matter, but they had to do it because of the delay in the payment.

He said, “We did not want it to be a court or media issue because we have worked in the company. A company that you worked for over 20 or 25 years is your employer. It will be a bad publicity to the company that is why we are still silence on this matter. We have to call many people to prevail but all efforts probed abortive. I know that the board will be sad.

“We are all stakeholders, we are suppose to be the reservoir of knowledge for the company.”

One of the counsels to the trio, Olabisi Ibironke, while speaking during the mentioning of the cases argued that her clients retired about four years ago, and tried several ways to get their entitlements, hence they approached the court with the belief to sought relief.

Justice Opeloye Ogunbowale after listening to arguments of counsel to both the claimants and defendants, however, adjourned the cases till April 26th for proper mentioning.

But, Head of Corporate Affairs of the company, Mr. Victor Ayetoro in his reaction declared that he was surprised that the ex-staff dragged the company to court despite continuous engagements with them.

Ayetoro, however, said that the delay in the payment of the entitlements was due to the serious financial issue Western Hotels (Premier Hotel and Lafia Hotel) one of the subsidiaries of the company is currently undergoing.

He said that Odu’a Investment Company Limited as a parent company came to the aid of Western Hotels by seeking for loan to refurbish the hotels as well as settle outstanding liabilities.

Ayetoro said “The Ex-staff (Badmus, Jayeola, Adedipe, Salami, Aderinto, Oyeleke and Adenigba) were employed into the services of Premier Hotel, a subsidiary of Odu’a Investment Company Limited. As senior managers, they were deployed at various times to serve in the Management Team of sister Hotels, Lagos Airport Hotel Limited, Lafia Hotel and Head office.

“Upon retirement from services of Odu’a, their gratuities were computed and apportioned based on the years of service in each subsidiary company they worked and that of Head office.

“To date, the Head office and Lagos Airport Hotel Lagos with the exemption of Western Hotels (Premier and Lafia) have settled their outstanding.

“Unfortunately, Western Hotel (Premier Hotel and Lafia Hotel) is currently undergoing serious financial issue and have appealed for their patience.

“Odu’a Investment Company Limited as a parent company came to the aid of the Western Hotels by seeking for loan to refurbish the hotels as well as settle these outstanding liabilities.

“Five banks approached for loan facility to the Hotel are yet to respond.

“However, considering the time they retired and to demonstrate commitment to honour the promise to pay in 2017, Odu’a pressurized Western Hotel to raise some amount of money which was paid to all the ex-staff in December 2017.

“We have also continually engaged the ex-staff; it is therefore surprising that they have dragged Odu’a Investment Company Limited to court.”


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