Court dismisses application for amendment of claims against Zenith Bank


Zenith_Bank_logoThe National Industrial Court (NIC) in Abuja on Wednesday dismissed an application for the amendment of claims filed by a former Zenith Bank employee, Mr Dennis Okanime, against the bank.

Okanime had in 2012 dragged the bank before the court to challenge his suspension and subsequent dismissal from work in 2010.

The claimant had asked the court to declare that his suspension and dismissal by the defendant was unlawful and should therefore set aside same.

Okanime also prayed the court to order the defendant to reinstate him and effect the payment of all his unpaid salaries and allowances.

The matter has gone into trial and the defendant has since early March 2013 concluded its case.

When the matter came up for adoption in March, the claimant’s counsel, Mr John Aineto, filed an application seeking the leave of the court to amend his statement of claims.

In the amended statement of claims, the claimant prayed the court to order the defendant to also pay his salary from June 2010 to August 2010 when he was on suspension.

He also prayed the court to order the defendant to formally apologise to him and to also pay him N200 million as damages.

During the hearing of the application, the defence counsel, Miss Brenda Nwosa, had urged the court to dismiss it in the interest of justice.

Nwosa argued that the motion raised new issues which, if granted, would prejudice the defendant’s case as it would not have the opportunity to defend the case.

The presiding judge, Justice Oluseun Shogbola, while giving his ruling, held that granting the application would cause a serious setback to the court’s proceedings.

Shogbola also held that the court was mindful of the fact that the application raised new issues which demanded the defendant’s response.

She explained that the court had the powers to grant such application if no new issues were raised, which could change the character of the case.

“If this application is granted, it will cause a setback to the proceedings as two new issues were raised by the claimant.

“The application is hereby dismissed and the claimant is ordered to file his final written address within 21 days from tomorrow,” the judge ruled.

He, however, adjourned the case to Oct. 2 for the adoption of final written addresses.


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