By Akin kuponiyi
The Industrial Training Fund, ITF and its Governing council have dragged British American Tobacco (Nigeria) Limited before a Federal High Court in Lagos over failure of the multi-national Company to pay its contribution in the sum of N20,504,480.51
In an affidavit sworn to by Mr Stephen Adegbenjo, a senior accountant with ITF and filed before the court by a Lagos Lawyer Mr Frank Eke, it was alleged that ITF conducted a verification exercise of the books of account of the British American Tobacco Company conducted by the official of ITF for the year 2015-2017.
It said on the 26th of August, 2019, it was established that the outstanding liability of the company to ITF for the year 2015-2017 was N33,218,067.96.
According to the affidavit, a letter and the tabulated summary of the verification exercise containing the outstanding liability was sent to the defendant on the 27th of August, 2019 but that the defendant failed and refused to satisfy its indebtedness to the Plaintiffs.
Following the said verification exercise and failure of the defendant to pay its outstanding liabilities, the plaintiff instructed its counsel, Frank Eke to help recover the outstanding verified liability owed the plaintiffs by the defendant.
The plaintiff said after a letter of demand was sent to the defendant, the defendant went to paid only the principal amount in the sum of N12,713,587.45 and neglected and refused to pay the penalty in the sum of N20,504,480.51.
Mr Adegbenjo averred further that, the defendant has no defence whatsoever to this legal action having failed to comply with its statutory obligation to the Plaintiffs by paying its total outstanding verified liability for the year 2015-2017.
Consequently, the Plaintiff’s claim is for the sum of N20,504,480.51 against the defendant; 5% monthly penalty for non-payment on every month the aforementioned sum ought to have been paid from the 1st of April,2015 until liquidation of the outstanding sum in accordance with the Industrial Training Fund Act Cap 19, laws of the Federation of Nigeria,2004 as amended by the industrial Training Fund Act 19 of 2011.