Accountant sues insurance company over alleged N33m debt

A chartered accountant, Mr Jaiyeola Fatungase, has taken Staco Insurance Plc to the Lagos National Labor Court over the company’s refusal to pay him N33,200,000 end-of-career benefits after his resignation from the company.

Fatungase, in his statement, said he was employed by the respondent as an auditor in 2005 and rose to the position of deputy finance manager until his voluntary resignation in March 2020.

The claimant also asked the company to pay him the sum of 99,000 naira, deducted from his salary.

He said that in February 2015, the former managing director and founder of the insurance company, Dr Sakiru Oyefeso, summoned him to his office and handed him a cash sum of N11 million, for custody in his capacity as deputy chief financial officer of the defendant’s company.

According to him, Oyefeso told him that the money had been collected from the President of the Accused’s company at the time, Mr. Dere Otubu, and that he would spend the said sum gradually to facilitate the affairs of the Accused. during the normal course of his work.

When Litigation Case Number NICN/LA/96/2022 was brought before NIC Judge M. N. Esowe sitting in Ikoyi, Lagos for hearing, the case could not proceed as the defendant was not at the court.

However, the plaintiff’s lawyer, Ayodele Osanyinibi, announced his appearance and informed the court that the matter needed to be mentioned further and that they had served on the defendant and admitted having served but had not responded.

She asked the court to register to hear the trial on the merits.

Therefore, Judge Esowe adjourned the case until February 21, 2023 for a hearing and ordered that the defendants be given a hearing date.

The claimant said that the money was used over time by Oyefeso in the following way and then abruptly retired as general manager of the company and he did not deny giving his approval for the funds used as indicated above.

He said: “I accounted for the funds used in September 2019 in a note dated September 30, in which I indicated how the sum was used.

“Since I resigned in March 2020, I made several demands of the defendant demanding my unpaid salary for six months but the defendant refused to respond to my demands. When I could no longer bear the deliberate refusal of the accused of responding to my letters, I informed my lawyers, Abayomi Disu &Co.

“The defendant however accused me of being guilty of the full amount and maliciously accused me of the sum of 11 million naira without my consent.

“I resigned from Respondent’s office in March 2020 and Respondent refused to pay me my salary from October 2019 to March 2020, Respondent paid other employees for those months but refused to pay me.”

The defendant through his attorney TOLG Advisors, in his response to the letter dated October 5, 2021, stated that the plaintiff’s unpaid wages and benefits were used to offset a portion of the loan he had already accrued.

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John A. Bogar