Abimbola Dayo-Aiyetan, a former management staff at United Bank for Africa (UBA), has been granted over N44 million in damages by the National Industrial Court in Lagos. This verdict comes after she was forced into resigning from her position by the bank’s hierarchy in 2016.
Abimbola, who served as UBA’s head of procurement and vendor management, fell out of favor with the bank’s top management when she refused to compromise on the company’s procurement process.
She steadfastly insisted on following due diligence in awarding contracts and resisted pressure from the chairman and board directors to award contracts to associates.
As a result of this, the bank verbally advised Abimbola to resign without providing any justifiable reason or face termination.
Despite her nine years of service, UBA only paid her a meager N14,087,780 as severance benefits, far below what was expected for an employee of her standing.
In response, Abimbola sought legal action, leading to a court hearing that began in June 2018.
The bank’s legal representatives claimed that she voluntarily resigned without coercion and failed to provide evidence of being forced to resign.
However, Abimbola’s legal team presented compelling evidence, including an email in which she protested the directive to resign and an internal memo showing her replacement
Justice R.H Gwandu, the presiding judge, ruled that Abimbola’s redundancy appeared deliberate on the bank’s part.
He found that she was coerced into resigning and that the bank did not engage in a restructuring exercise.
Consequently, he ordered UBA to pay Abimbola N20 million in general damages, 12 months of her gross salary (approximately N23 million), and an additional N1.5 million in legal representation fees.
UBA has been instructed to make these payments within one month of the judgment, or they will incur a 10 percent annual interest until the amounts are settled.