Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals Limited has reacted to a story by SaharaReporters on how it withheld the salary and entitlements of one of its staff, Adeya Osaro, for two years.
SaharaReporters published that Osaro, who was in a hospital in Ras Al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates, receiving treatment for grade-two kidney failure, gathered that the company was planning to sack him on his return from Nigeria.
Osaro then tendered a resignation letter but it was rejected by Indorama and the company failed to give him a letter of termination making it difficult for him to access his pension or seek a new job.
Reacting to the story, Jossy Nkwocha, Head, Corporate Communications of Indorama, said Osaro did not inform the company of his health status, insisting that he absconded from work without required permission.
The two letters sent to SaharaReporters by the company claimed, however, that Osaro was sacked on the 13th of October 2017.
The first, which was dated October 9, 2017, accused Osaro of being absent from work for 33 days.
The second letter sent four days after said he had been sacked for refusing to return to work.
The two letters, which appeared to have been sent to Osaro by courier, were received by an individual named Cele on October 31, 2017.
When the reporter asked Osaro to identify the letters, he denied ever seeing them.
He recalled that Cele’s signature was the same on the acknowledged copy of the letter his lawyer sent to the firm in November 2019.
Osaro availed the reporter of the said acknowledged copy and both signatures matched.
The name of the person, who received the letter, however, was Justice and not Cele.
Also, Nkwocha denied the possibility of the signatures on both letters matching, saying “Its not possible. One of them must have been forged.”
Also reacting to another claim by Osaro, Indorama said Osaro never sent in any resignation but had his employment terminated on October 13.
“The allegation that the company refused to either accept his resignation or give him a letter of termination, is completely false.
“It is customary for an employee wishing to resign to tender his letter of resignation to his employer. Mr Adeya never turned in a letter of resignation. This company could not have refused or accepted a purported resignation that was clearly a figment of his imagination.
“In fact, he was officially relieved of his appointment after he abandoned his duty for over 28 days contrary to company policy contained in the company’s employee handbook. The letter of termination dated 13th October, 2017 was sent to him by courier service and was duly acknowledged.”
Indorama also accused Osaro of travelling out without first seeking medical attention from Atinu Clinic, his HMO.
“The claim by Mr Osaro that he was undergoing medical treatment in the United Arab Emirate for two whole years is quite spurious and contradictory. If indeed he was in the UAE for medical treatment, this was a procedural and administrative anomaly.
“He neither got any referral from our industrial clinic nor our HMO if he had any medical condition that required further diagnosis and treatment. In fact, he cut off all means of communication between him and the company,” Indorama said.
Osaro confirmed to SaharaReporters that Atinu Clinic gave him no referral letter as he maintained that the hospital asked him to seek better care.
On the reporter’s request, he returned to the clinic to obtain his medical report and scanned result from the 2017 diagnosis.
The clinic reportedly gave him a report that had neither signature nor date.
The clinic also failed to avail Osaro the scanned result.
While reporting that Osaro had gallbladder failure, the report said its conclusion was ‘normal studies.’
Indorama said it was surprised to see on SaharaReporters that Osaro went to the UAE, as he failed to obtain any medical leave that could have lasted for that long.
Osaro, however, noted that he obtained a medical leave from his head of department, Pankaj Sawant, adding that it was recorded in the log and Human Resource Department was informed.
In reaching a truce, Indorama has promised to give Osaro all benefit due to him including his pension.
“In line with company policy, whatever benefit is accruable to him will be made available to him if and when he comes to process his exit administratively, including formally collecting/receiving copy of letter terminating his appointment,” Nkwocha added.
Osaro confirmed that Indorama has activated his pension scheme following the initial report by SaharaReporters.