Three former staff of National Lotteries Authority (NLA) have sued the state enterprise for damages, citing unlawful dismissal and unjustifiable libel and slander.
The three are Elvis Osei Mensah, Donald Djopo and Pius Akelisiyine, who are just three of four persons who allegedly suffered that fate at the hands of NLA management in 2014.
They have filed a writ dated January 26, 2017 at the Industrial and Labour Division of the High Court seeking a declaration that they were unlawfully dismissed, and an order for their reinstatement with all benefits including salaries, salary increments, entitlements, interest on salaries, promotions, and all legal and administrative costs.
The three are also seeking compensation for the pain, mental trauma, libel, slander and all other resultant inconveniences suffered at the hands of the Defendant’s agents over the period.
Alternatively, the plaintiffs want a sum of GHC1,000,000 each for their troubles.
The facts of the case as contained in the writ of summons, signed by the Solicitor for Plaintiffs, Cornelius Kofi Binewoatsor are that in 2014 the three and one other were summarily dismissed for allegedly defrauding their colleague workers at NLA and were issued with sack letters without being showed evidence of their crime.
The writ states the first Plaintiff, Elvis Mensah was Vice Chairman of NLA Welfare Association, of which second Plaintiff, Donald Djopo was Financial Secretary.
The four initiated a welfare package to acquire parcels of land for workers to pay in installment and build their own houses against retirement. This they did, with the consent, approval, and assistance of management of NLA, then headed by Kojo Andah as Director-General.
According to the writ, they initially acquired land at Agyen Kotoku and Kpobiman but later found it was not suitable for residential facilities because of waste management company, Zoomlion cited their waste collection site there.
Subsequently, the same landowners gave them another 75-acre parcel of land at Kuntunse, and with the assistance of management, they got a loan from NDK Financial Services to pay for the land with the understanding that it will be amortized and deducted from workers salaries to pay off the loan.
In the cause of time, a new management took over and demanded to see details of the welfare associations’ finances, which the second Plaintiff, Donald Djopo presented to them via PowerPoint. Subsequent to that, management carried out an audit, and without showing them the audit report, issued them with summary dismissal letters and caused their immediate arrest.
According to the plaintiffs, the police paraded them in front of TV cameras as criminals and their faces were shown on national TV as criminals, even though no evidence of fraud was brought against them.
The plaintiffs said they, for a good part of the last three-year, reported to the Accra Central Police station daily, then weekly until the police got tired and asked them to stop going there.
They allege that police asked for a copy of the internal audit report and a supposed external audit report that management claim they have done, but till date management has presented no such report to the police and no evidence of fraud against the plaintiffs.
According to them, all efforts to get reinstated, including interventions by the National Labour Commission, proved futile and management keeps telling stories in the media to tarnish their image and deny them of job opportunities elsewhere.
They also allege in their statement of case that they have some evidence of financial embezzlement against some top managers, running into billions of Ghana cedis, and they believe that is the main reason they were kicked out, and not because of any fraud they committed.
Donald Djobo said his late dad was sick at the time the issue went public in 2014, and he died out of shock on hearing of it.
Elvis Mensah said life has been tough since the incident.
Meanwhile, a writ of summons has been served to the defendant, NLA, but they are yet to respond.