IN THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT OF NIGERIA
Suit No: NICN/LA/123/2013
AERO CONTRACTORS CO.OF NIG. LTD
MR. AKINTAYO AKINWUNMI AKINGBEHIN
Date Delivered: 2015-06-16
IN THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT OF NIGERIA
IN THE LAGOS JUDICIAL DIVISION
HOLDEN AT LAGOS
BEFORE HIS LORDSHIP HON. JUSTICE OYEWUMI. O.O
DATED 16TH OF JUNE, 2015 SUIT NO: NICN/LA/123/2013
AERO CONTRACTORS CO.OF NIG. LTD - CLAIMANT
MR. AKINTAYO AKINWUNMI AKINGBEHIN -DEFENDANT
Kolawole Oluwadare with him are Aderonke Jalade (Miss); DipoFamodunmi for the claimant
Ayoku Hamzat for the defendant
The claimant on the 6th of March, 2013 filed a complaint against the defendant praying for the following reliefs:
I. A DECLARATION that the defendant has breached the confidentiality agreement in the contract of employment
between the claimant and the defendant by disclosure of the claimant’s confidential information in the defendant’s
solicitors letters dated 27th December, 2012 and 14th January, 2013.
II. AN ORDER OF PERPETUAL INJUNCTION restraining the defendant from disclosing the claimant’s confidential
information and from further breaching the confidentiality agreement in the contract of employment between the claimant
and the defendant.
III. The sum of N25, 000,000.00 (Twenty-Five Million Naira) being general damages for the defendant’s acts of breach of
confidentiality agreement in the contract of employment between the claimant and the defendant.
IV. Interest on the sum of N25, 000,000.00 (Twenty-Five Million Naira) at an interest rate of 10% from December, 2012
to delivery of judgment in this suit and 10% from judgment until final liquidation.
V. Cost of this action in the sum of N2,000,000.00 (Two Million Naira)
It is the case of the claimant that it employed the defendant via a letter dated 13th August, 2003. That his appointment
was confirmed vide a letter dated 20th of May, 2004 and was a Commercial Analyst in the Commercial Department of
the claimant company. The claimant averred that in October 2012, it engaged the services of a consultancy firm to
undertake an appraisal of its information and communication systems. That in the course of the appraisal, it was
discovered that fraud was perpetrated in the sale of the airline tickets by members of staff of the claimant’s Commercial
Department. Claimant averred that sequel to the discovery, it constituted an eight man panel to investigate the fraud.
That on the 23rd of November, 2012 some of the members of staff appeared before the panel for investigation and one
Mr Michael Adegbehingbe, the Assistant Sales Representative of the claimant testified that the fraud was being
perpetrated in the Commercial Department involving the Sales Manager, Mrs. Oluwayemisi Bruce and Mr. Akintayo
Akinwumi Akingbehin (the defendant). Claimant stated further that Mrs Oluwayemisi and Mr Segun Medubi also
admitted to being involved in the perpetration of the fraud in the Commercial Department.
Continuing claimant averred that testimonies of Mr. Michael Adegbehingbe, Mrs. Oluwayemisi Bruce and Mr Segun
Medubi and the further investigation of facts and document, revealed that in 2010, the defendant, Mrs. Oluwayemisi
Bruce and Mr SegunMedubi created an account for a nonexistent client known as Skyfirm Ventures Nigeria Limited from
the legitimate but dormant account of Ultima Account with the claimant’s company. That the above mentioned persons,
through Skyfirm Ventures Nigeria Limited, sold its tickets and made group bookings on the claimant’s flights under the
Ultima Account and the monies realized were not remitted to the claimant’s account but that of the defendant, Mr.
Michael Adegbehingbe, Mrs. Oluwayemisi Bruce and Mr Segun Medubi by their sales agent. Claimant averred that Mr.
Michael Adegbehingbe admitted at the panel of investigation that the sales agent remits as much as the sum of
N500,000.00 weekly and he delivers same to the defendant and Mrs. Oluwayemisi Bruce.
Claimant continued that the fraud perpetrated has cost it a huge financial loss to the tune of N46,000,000.00. Claimant
also averred that it placed defendant on indefinite suspension on the 28th of November, 2012 in furtherance of the
investigations of allegations against the defendant by the Police. That on the 27th of December, 2012, the defendant’s
solicitors wrote to it on behalf of the defendant with a threat to blackmail the claimant with various information about the
claimant’s transactions and finances disclosed by the defendant as he came across such information while his
employment subsisted with the claimant. Claimant contended that defendant breached its confidentiality agreement
contained in the contract of employment between it and the defendant thus exposes it to further damages if the
defendant carries out its threat.
The claimant during trial testified through its HR Practitioner one Mrs Ifeoma Ogoh and tendered documents which were
admitted and marked as Exhibits IO 1-IO10.
The Defendant on the other hand denied certain paragraphs of the claimant's pleadings admits paragraphs and averred
that he was the Chairman of the Senior Staff Union of the Claimant and as the Union Chairman, the Defendant has the
responsibility of representing the lager interest of other employees of' the Claimant particularly in fighting for and
defending the rights of employees in matters of staff welfare. That consequent upon the above, the Management was
always on a collision course with him whenever he is uncompromising on Staff welfare issues and issues bordering on
transparent management of the Claimant. That the Claimant's investigations on the alleged fraud in her Commercial
Department was done without affording him a hearing, notwithstanding the alleged incriminating admissions of Michael
Adegbehingbe against him, he was declared guilty, reported to the Police and suspended from work. Defendant denies
that he knew about and or worked with anyone to defraud the Claimant in its Commercial Department or at all. That he
does not know and is not involved in the activities of Sky firm Ventures Nigeria Limited or any company involved in any
nefarious and fraudulent sale of the Claimant's tickets and bookings
He further denies receiving any sum of money and or being involved in the conversion of the proceeds from the
fraudulent sales of tickets and group bookings as alleged by the Claimant. That he became aware of the allegations of
the Claimant on the 25thday of November, 2012 when men of the Nigeria Police invaded his residence and informed
him that the Claimant, acting on the incriminating and unproved allegations of one Michael Adegbehingbe, had lodged a
complaint against him and some others in the company of defrauding the Claimant to the tune of N64,000,000.00 (Sixty
Four Million Naira). He was arrested and detained at the Airport Police Command on the 25th November, 2012 in clear
violation of his fundamental rights under the Nigerian Constitution and the terms of his contract never afforded him
hearing on the allegations against him but chose to lodge a complaint with the Police. He stated that he was released on
the 27th of November, 2012 when he was released on the orders of the Airport Police Command, Commissioner of
Police. That sequel to his release from police detention he was issued with a suspension letter on the 28th of November,
The Defendant denies paragraphs 23, 24 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 31 and 32 of the Statement of Claim and states the
following in answer thereto:
i. That as the Union Chairman in the Claimant company, the Defendant had the trust and confidence of members of staff
who offer information relating to Management actions that may be inimical to staff welfare, growth and security of
employment and suspicious or fraudulent transactions which could threaten the growth of the Claimant.
ii. That the Defendant confronted management with such information through the Head of Human Resources, the middle
link between staff and management.
iii. That rather than take steps to curb the known excesses, the Claimant management decided to victimize the
defendant by discrediting his impeccable career and his standing among the staff of the Claimant.
iv. That upon receiving the Claimant's letter of suspension dated 26th day of November, 2012 the Defendant briefed his
Counsel, the firm of Fred Agbaje to seek redress from the Claimant for victimizing him after he exposed the fraudulent
and reckless transactions of the Claimant management.
v. That the Defendant is not in breach of any of the terms of the Letter of Employment of 13th August, 2003 and the
Aero Contractors Company of Nigeria Limited Staff Administrative Policy Handbook