The hearing of the lawsuit by a staff of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Ltd. (CCECC), Godspower Ntaka, against the company held at the National Industrial Court on Wednesday.
At the resumed hearing, Mr Ntaka’s lawyer, Cornelius Nwapi, informed the court that the defendant (CCECC) has reached out to them and has requested that the case be settled out of court.
Mr Nwapi informed Justice Olufunke Anuwe, that the parties met on December 13, had a preliminary discussion and also agreed to meet on January 14, 2020, to enable them to settle out of court as regards Mr Ntaka’s claims.
The lawyer, therefore requested the court for a date to allow parties to come back either for a report of settlement or definite hearing.
Justice Anuwe adjourned the matter to February 25, 2020, for an update on the out of court settlement.
Mr Ntaka in his statement of facts filed on March 27, stated that he was attacked by armed robbers on August 25, 2012, while on an official errand as a security supervisor.
The CCECC staff in the suit is seeking N100 million as damages which according to him, is for the alleged emotional trauma, psychological anxiety, mental stress and discriminatory treatment that arose from his ordeal in the hands of the armed robbers while on the official duty.
Mr Ntaka said he was in the company of two other workers, the company’s chief security officer, Emeka Amadi, and a driver in the company, Bennett Kalu.
The claimant said that Mr Kalu was discovered to have been killed by the robbers after he (Mr Ntaka) and Mr Amadi reported to the police and in the company of the police returned to the scene of the robbery.
Mr Ntaka said after reporting, the police took him and Mr Amadi to the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS ) where he was detained from August 29 to October 11, 2012.
The CCECC official said that it took the services of a private lawyer who filed for the enforcement of his fundamental right at a Federal Capital Territory (FCT) High Court before he was released from SARS.
According to him, he was then charged to court and was in prison custody from May 2013 till September 2018, when he was discharged and acquitted.
Mr Ntaka explained that his ordeal was as a result of an official errand he was sent to do by the company and that the company abandoned him.
He further said during that period, the company stopped his salary while in prison custody and took no steps either to defend him or offer any help.
The claimant also said that after his discharge and acquittal, the company has not taken any step to rehabilitate him and pay compensation.
Mr Ntaka is, therefore, seeking the court‘s declaration that he was still a staff of the company and entitled to all the rights, privileges and benefits due to him by reason of his employment.
He is also seeking for the order of the court to direct the company to pay all his outstanding salaries, benefits and entitlement since 2014.
He asked for N100 million as damages.