An international broadcast journalist, Hannington Osodo, has dragged Nigeria’s former Vice President and owner of Gotel Africa Media Limited, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, before the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Lagos.
Osodo accused Atiku of owing him and others so many months unpaid salaries after breaching contracts they had with his company as consultant, and the suit filed on the journalist’s behalf by his counsel, Olumide Aju, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, is praying the court to order the company to pay him the claim. January 27th has been fixed for hearing of the case.
Others allegedly affected include David Guinan, Ebong Udoma, William Chu, Devon Petley, Susie Iliyan, Teddy Vuong, Kostas Sergiadis and Richard Spiropoulos.
The workers who were all hired between late 2014 and early 2015 revealed that they left Nigeria hapless and with only promissory notes instead of monies owed them by Gotel.
According to the team, their mission was to launch an international news channel based in Abuja for Atiku but barely 10 months after they arrived in Nigeria, they were forced to leave with major outstanding salaries despite having valid work visas issued by the Nigerian government.
However, Atiku in a statement released by his media team blamed a former MD/CEO of Gotel, John Chiaiheman, for the unpaid salaries.
The statement reads, “For the avoidance of doubt, the funds dedicated to the payment of salaries of staff, both local and expatriates that were engaged by Chiamehen himself were made available to him. All those concerned are advised to contact Mr Chiamehen accordingly.”