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Prime Bank dragged to court

Mar 4, 2011, 11:13 AM | Article By: Dawda Faye

Prime Bank was recently brought before the Industrial Tribunal by one Emmanuel Ina George, the plaintiff, for wrongfully terminating his service.

When the case was called, the defendant's counsel, Loubna Farage, informed the tribunal that the parties were negotiating, but had to come back to the tribunal.

The defence counsel also told the tribunal that the counsel for the plaintiff was busy at the Bundung Magistrates' Court, and would like the case to be stood down.

But the chairman of the tribunal, Magistrate Ngube, adjourned the case till 7 March 2011. The plaintiff's claim is a declaration that the dismissal by the defendant of the plaintiff was unlawful.

The plaintiff further claimed three years basic salary for unlawful dismissal, and bonus entitlements for the trading period July 2009 to September 2010 was also claimed by the plaintiff.

The plaintiff went on to claim general damages for breach of contract and interest at the rate of 25 percent per annum from 13 July 2009 to date of judgment, and thereafter statutory interest of 4 percent to date of final liquidation.

According to the particulars of the plaintiff’s claim, the plaintiff is a banker by profession, and worked at the bank from the 13 July of 2009, as treasury dealer with a job description.

By December 2009, notwithstanding the fact that the plaintiff had almost met the target set for him, D2.7 million, management started to interfere with the plaintiff’s work contrary to his job description, which resulted in an exchange of email letters between the plaintiff and Managing Director.

The claim further stated that due to management’s continued interference with the plaintiff's work, contrary to his job description, he tendered a resignation letter having sought employment with another local bank.

The plaintiff claimed that following a meeting with him to discuss his concerns, and his decision to resign, on 14 May 2010, management wrote to him confirming its decision to allow him to operate freely within his job description.

The particulars of claim revealed that the plaintiff withdrew his decision to resign upon receipt of the aforementioned letter, but unfortunately management's non-interference with the plaintiff’s work was short-lived and, again, there followed an exchange of email letters between parties.

The plaintiff stated in his claim that as at 23 September 2010, when he was suspended from duty for two weeks, he had already met his target of D4 million set for him for 2010.

The particulars indicated that contrary to management's statements, at a disciplinary hearing held on the 8 October 2010, and in the plaintiff's dismissal letter dated 11 October 2010, the plaintiff had never received any warning letter.

He claimed further that, at the said disciplinary hearing, the plaintiff was offered the opportunity to resign, but because he believed he had done no wrong, he declined the offer.

The plaintiff said in his claim that in the execution of his duties as treasury dealer, since he joined the bank on 13 July 2009, has never caused the bank any loss of income in the scores of transactions he conducted in that capacity.