The National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Awka, Anambra State, has adjourned till March 8, 2018, to rule on whether or not it has jurisdiction in the suit, 10 months after it held that Chevron was a party in the case instituted by 235 workers, who were unceremoniously laid off without sack letters, redundancy letters, non-indebtedness letters and non-payment of three years’ salary arrears.
The disengaged workers were purportedly employed by Chevron and handed over to the company’s contracting firms, JOCECO Nigeria Limited, Pat Onosen Nigeria Enterprises, Sanco Calaya JV Nigeria Limited and Hensteel Engr. & Construction Services Limited.
They are in the suit asking the court to compel Chevron and its four contracting firms to pay them damage of N100 million each, totalling N23.5 billion for their wrongful sack.
The trial judge, Justice J. I. Targema after listening to the claimants’ counsel, Chief V. E. Otomiewo and other counsel, said “It is the court that raised the issue of jurisdiction, it is the court that will determine the case.” Chief Otomiewo had pleaded with Justice Targema to “read the pleadings holistically,” contending that the contract is of service and not for service.