The Presiding Judge, Akure Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Kiyersohot Damulak has dismissed the case filed by one Mr. Friday Imonunu against Rubber Estates Nigeria Limited, and Pension Alliance Limited for lacking merit.
The Court held that Mr. Friday Imonunu’s employment termination was in accordance with the provision of the Negotiated terms and conditions guiding his employment and has to wait till he is 50 years of age to access his remaining Contributory Pension balance in line with section 7(1) of the Pension Reform Act.
From facts, the claimant- Mr. Friday Imonunu had submitted that he was employed by the Rubber Estates Nigeria Limited on 21/2/2012 and his condition of service is regulated by the negotiated condition of service for workers agreement between NAAE and NAWUN.
He averred that by a letter dated April 19th, 2016, the company terminated his appointment without following due process as laid down by the said condition of service, and all efforts to get his benefits, allowances and contributory pension were not successful.
In defense, the 1st Defendant- Rubber Estates Nigeria Limited maintained that due process was followed in the termination of Mr Friday’s appointment as laid down in the condition of service and did not fail to pay him his benefits and allowances.
The 2nd defendant- Pension Alliance Limited maintained that Mr. Friday Imonunu had received a temporary access payment of N54,500:20k, (Fifty Four Thousand, Five Hundred Naira, Twenty kobo) in February 2017, which constituted 25% of the balance of his RSA, and by the provisions of the PRA, and is not entitled to receive any additional payment until he retires or attains the age of 5 years, urged the court to dismiss the case.
Delivering the judgment after careful analysis of the submission of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Kiyersohot Damulak held that the content of the termination letter issued to Mr. Friday Imonunu accords with the provision of the Negotiated terms and conditions since he was employed on 21/2/2012 and terminated on 20/4/2016, a period of two years but less than five years.
The Court ruled that Mr. Friday Imonunu who was disengaged at the age of 33 years has already accessed 25 per cent of his pension fund contribution in accordance with section 7(2) of the Act and has to wait till he is 50 years of age to access his remaining balance in line with section 7(1) of the Pension Reform Act, 2014.
“On the whole, the claimant has failed to establish his entitlement to any of his prayers and the suit is hereby dismissed for want of merit. No cost awarded.” Justice Damulak ruled.