Former IRC official laments delay in suit over ‘discrimination’, ‘illegal dismissal’

Daniel Bassey, a former official of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a global non-governmental body, has lamented the delay in the outcome of a suit he filed against the organisation over alleged discrimination and illegal dismissal.

In his suit, Bassey accused IRC of terminating his employment without following the company’s international policy standard.

S.S Mshelia, counsel to the claimant, had argued against the “abrupt termination of the claimant’s employment contract” by the defendant was without justification, thereby amounting to a breach of contract.

He had sought a declaration that the termination of the Claimant’s employment contract by the Defendant is against IRC Nigerian Country Programme National Staff Employment Policies 2014.

In a judgment delivered in 2017, Justice Edith Agbakoba held that the claimant’s appointment was wrongfully terminated.

Agbakoba ruled that IRC pay Bassey N3,300,000:00 being the balance of six (6) months salary due him under fixed term contract which was terminated.

Following the judgment, IRC filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal in Suit CA/A/62/2018 but the matter has been on hold since then.

Commenting on this, the appellant’s counsel simply identified as Rotimi  said, “Nobody can delay the matter in court… if the court fix a day for a matter, the matter will be heard that day.”

IRC’s Senior Human Resource Coordinator, Aamir Fida, also responded to the issue, denying the allegations against the organisation.

Fida, who said he had barely spent two years in IRC, acknowledged that he is aware about a case that was registered against the company prior to his resumption in office.

“There is no discriminations against anyone regardless of their age, gender, race, status or anything, this is not true at all.”

“I don’t know who brought the complaint and I don’t know why he is saying this because we never had such things (racism) before, in our organisation; there is a very open and very transparent environment and we are responsible to everyone and everyone is leaving on equal level and that is our culture and I don’t know why he saying that because there is no any incident like that.

“If it is going to be complained about and after an investigation if all the allegations and all the evidence are established and it contravenes our moral conduct, a very strict punishment is given to the perpetrator. IRC has a policy of due process following termination.”

But the former employee of the organisation has said that the “injustice meted out to him by IRC will not have occurred if he was of a different race”.

He said the matter would have reached a rapid conclusion given different circumstances.

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