Lagos OPD Secures N1.5m Compensation For Casual Worker
The Lagos State Office of the Public Defender (OPD) has secured a favourable landmark judgment and compensation before a Lagos division of National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) on behalf of one Muraina Taiwo, Casual Worker.
Muraina had dragged his employer, Nahman Construction Limited before the court for failure to to foot his medical bills when he sustained grievious injury while on duty.
According to the OPD Director, Dr. Babajide Martins, the court presided over by Justice Mustapha Tijani, ordered the defendant, Nahman Construction Limited to pay the sum of N1.5 million to its former employee, Muraina Taiwo, as compensation for trauma and pains suffered.
Martins added that the Court also ordered the defendant to pay the claimant`s salary from August 2015 to the date of judgment delivery.
A release issued by the Agency’s Head of Public Affairs Units, Mr. Mamud Hassan, stated that the Director explained that the claimant, Muraina Taiwo, a casual workers at the defendant’s construction site at Landmark Event Centre, where he had an accident in September 2015. He was rushed to the hospital and surgery was carried out on his leg after the payment of the hospital bills by the defendant.
Dr. Martins said the defendant refused to pay for a second surgery on the claimant after he was informed by the hospital that another round of surgery was required to correct the injury to his knees, adding that stoppage of the claimant’s salary, despite non-termination of his employment, compounded his situation.
“In a bid to seek redress and justice, the claimant hired a lawyer that filed the matter in court in 2016, but the lawyer stopped coming to the court due to unpaid bills. The claimant`s case was on the verge of being struck out by the Court, when it was referred to the Office of the Public Defender to avail him free legal services”, the Director explained.
“The OPD, in line with its statutory responsibility of defending the rights of defenseless residents of the State, swiftly took over the matter and deployed some of its best hands to represent the claimant and sought for various reliefs in court on the claimant’s behalf. It was the tenacity, discipline and uncommon professionalism exhibited by the OPD’s Counsel during the hearing of the matter that resulted in the favourable judgment for Muraina Taiwo”, Martins asserted.
Expressing satisfaction with the outcome of the case despite the fact that the claimant’s case was referred to OPD at short notice for free legal assistance, the Director enjoined Lagos residents to always take advantage of the free legal services to protect their rights.
He urged employees having any dispute with their employers on issues bordering on compensation, gratuity, non-remittance of pension and wrongful termination of contract of employment to come forward for free legal assistance and representation.