The National Industrial Court, Abuja, has fixed Oct. 31 to rule on a motion brought by Luck Guards Ltd, praying the court to strike out its name from the suit filed by 257 disengaged workers.
The workers were formerly with Total Exploration and Production Company.
Joined as co-respondents in the suit are: Eastbay Nigeria Ltd, Gobin Security Ltd, Fabom Ventures Nigeria Ltd, Provast Ltd, and Luck Guards Limited.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the court had on Oct.17 ordered the respondents to open their cases on Oct. 26.
The Judge, Justice Edith Agbakoba, fixed the date after listening to submissions of parties in the suit.
Counsel to Luck Guards, Mr Mohammed Shuaib, in his motion had argued that Luck Guards was only an agent of Total Exploration and Production Company, hence, the claimants could not suit it.
Shuaib urged the court to grant his application by striking out the name of Luck Guards from the suit.
Luck Guards Ltd is the sixth respondent in the suit.
Counsel to the claimants, Mr Marx Ikongbeh, in his submission said that the law allows claimants who have same cause of action to jointly sue.
Ikongbeh urged the court to dismiss the application of the sixth respondent and order it to open its case.
”My Lord the claimants are entitled to fair hearing, I urge My Lord to refuse the application and order that the sixth respondent open its case immediately ” he said.
The disengaged claimants were workers of Total Exploration and Production Company before their appointments were allegedly terminated in 2015.
The workers alleged that they were laid off in August 2015 without notice.
The aggrieved workers dragged Total Exploration to court over the unlawful dismissal from the company and joined five other firms in the suit.
The claimants, in their statement of claim, are seeking for an order of the court for the respondents to pay them N8 billion, being salaries and arrears that have accrued since 2015 till date.
They also prayed the court to prevail on the respondents to pay N5 billion for the unlawful termination of their appointments as well as general damages.
Total Exploration was represented in court by their counsel, Mr Ineh Wilson.
The claimants, represented by their counsel Ikongbeh had since closed their case.