ADESIGBIN & ORS V. NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC (2017)

In The Court of Appeal of Nigeria

On Friday, the 9th day of March, 2018

CA/L/01/2010

Before Their Lordships

MOHAMMED LAWAL GARBA Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
JOSEPH SHAGBAOR IKYEGH Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria
ABIMBOLA OSARUGUE OBASEKI-ADEJUMO Justice of The Court of Appeal of Nigeria


Between

1. LATEEF ALO ADESIGBIN
2. F. AKINWUNMI & 260 ORS. –Appellants

AND

NIGERIAN BREWERIES PLC –Respondent

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MOHAMMED LAWAL GARBA, J.C.A. (Delivering the Leading Judgment): The Appellants, former employees of the Respondent, were disengaged from the employment of the Respondent on the 24th May, 2004 based on a collective agreement of 13th January, 2000. Dissatisfied with the amounts for retirement and redundancy benefits paid to them for the disengagement, the Appellants sued the Respondent before the National Industrial Court (NIC) in Suit No. NIC/8/2008 and in the statement of facts of their complaint dated 18th February, 2008, they claimed the following reliefs:
“i. A declaration that the purported management/union agreement dated the 25th day of May 2004 is null and void and therefore not binding on the claimants having been fraudulently executed, malafide and without regard to due process.
ii. A declaration that the purported agreement dated 25th day of May 2004 is not binding on the claimants, same having been executed without the consent and input of the affected employees and at the same time being below the accepted standard in the industry.
iii. A declaration that the agreement of 25th of May 2004 is not binding on 
the claimants whose employment was determined by a letter dated 24th of May 2004 incorporating the claimants redundancy benefit which was calculated on the basis of a non-existing agreement contrary to article 27 of the employees handbook.
iv. A declaration that the agreement of 10th of September 2001 being the only valid management/union agreement existing at the time the employment of the claimants was determined is binding on the claimants and should be used in the calculation of the claimants’ redundancy allowance.
v. A declaration that the claimants are entitle to be paid 26 weeks wages for each completed year of service or annual basic salary multiplied by the number of years left to clock retirement age,whichever is lower as full redundancy benefits due to the claimants in line with the agreement of 10th of September 2001.
vi. An order of Court directing the defendant to pay the claimants the 20 weeks wages for every year of service which is the shortfall of the claimants’ redundancy benefits which is due to the claimants pursuant to the 10th of September 2001 agreement.”

The Respondent denied the claims and after settlement of pleadings and taking evidence, the National Industrial Court dismissed the Appellants’ case in a judgment delivered on 15th July, 2009.
This appeal is against the decision by the National Industrial Court and was brought on four (4) grounds contained on the Notice of Appeal dated and filed on the 14th October, 2009, from which four (4) issues are said to arise for decision in the appeal in the Appellants’ brief filed on 14th January 2011. They are: –
i. Whether from the evidence before the Court, the Judgment of their Lordships is not against equity, good conscience and the right of the Appellants as contained in Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
ii. Whether the Learned Trial Justices were right in holding that the Appellants are not entitled to be paid additional wages as ex-gratia when by the materials, documents and argument placed their said Justices show that those outplaced by the Respondent in 2001 before the Appellants were paid additional ex-gratia.
iii. Whether the Learned Trial Justices were right in interpreting and holding that the agreement of the 10th of September 2001 is not 
applicable to the Appellants’outplacement because it has expired when it is the exercise that has to be carried out that has a limited period and not the agreement itself.
iv. Whether the Learned Trial Justices were right in dismissing the Appellants’ action without properly taking into consideration and evaluation, the evidence, exhibits and submission before the Court.”

In the Respondent’s brief filed on the 10th August, 2011, three (3) issues were distilled from the Appellants’ grounds of appeal as follows: –
“3.1 Whether the lower Court’s failure to consider the agreement of 13th Jan. 2000 occasioned a miscarriage of justice (Distilled from Appellant’s Ground 4)
3.2 Whether the Lower Court was right in holding that the agreement date September 10, 2001 had become spent and so inapplicable in the case before her; and (Distilled from Appellant???s Ground 3)
3.3 Whether the Lower Court was right in holding that the Applicant’s were not entitled to the ex-gratia payment they claimed (Distilled from Appellant’s Ground 2).

In reaction to the Respondent’s brief, the Appellants filed a Reply brief on the 6th June,2012.

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2012. I intend to use the Appellants’ issues in the determination of the appeal.
Issue One (1)
Whether from the evidence before the Court, the judgment of their Lordships is not against equity, good conscience and the right of the Appellants as contained in Chapter IV of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
The arguments of the Appellants are that the judgment of the National Industrial Court (lower Court) is against the right of the Appellants to be paid the required and adequate entitlement for their disengagement as shown in the collective agreement of 10th September, 2001 and letters dated 2nd May, 2000 and 5th May, 2000 from the Respondent. The judgment is said to have deprived the Appellants of same entitlement paid to other employees of the Respondent who were disengaged or outplaced before them, is against equity, good conscience and infringes the Appellants’ right as enshrined in Chapter IV of the 1999 Constitution.
Issue Two (2)
Whether the Learned Trial Justices were right in holding that the Appellants are not entitled to be paid additional wages as ex-gratia when by the materials, documents and 
argument placed their said Justices show that those outplaced by the Respondent in 2001 before the Appellants were paid additional ex-gratia.
It is submitted for the Appellants that by the documents before the lower Court, mentioned under issue 1, others who were outplaced before the Appellants were paid ex-gratia in line with the collective agreement of 10th September, 2001 and that had the lower Court considered and weighed the material and documentary evidence before it, it would not have reached the wrong decision which substantially affected the case of the Appellants.
Issue Three (3)
Whether the Learned Trial Justices were right in interpreting and holding that the agreement of the 10th of September 2001 is not applicable to the Appellants’ outplacement because it has expired when it is the exercise that has to be carried out that has a limited period and not the agreement itself.

The submissions are to the effect that the lower Court was wrong to hold that the agreement of 10th September, 2001 was not applicable to the Appellants’ case on the ground that it had expired and so not in existence. Also, that the lower Court did not interprete paragraph 7 of the said agreement correctly, which shows that the agreement had not expired as at the time of the Appellants’ outplacement, but only the exercise of the outplacement to be carried out had a limited period of on or before the 14th September, 2001 and not the agreement itself.
The cases of Adewunmi v. A. G. Ekiti State (2002) 1 SC, 63 @ 70 on interpretation of clear words of a statute andIwuoha v. NIPOST Ltd. (2003) 4 SC (Pt. II) 37 @ 54 on evaluation of documentary evidence by an appellate Court, were cited.

Issue Four (4)
Whether the Learned Trial Justices were right in dismissing the Appellants’ action without properly taking into consideration and evaluation the evidence, exhibits and submission before the Court.

The contention of the learned Counsel for the Appellants under the issue is that the lower Court did not properly evaluate the evidence, exhibits and submissions before it and the last paragraph of the judgment of the lower Court; at page 113 of the Record of Appeal, was set out in support of the contention, that the lower Court did not correctly approach the assessment of the evidence before it. A substantial error was said to have been committed by the lower Court which occasioned a miscarriage of justice against the Appellants.
Inter aliaJeo Golday Ltd. v. Co-op Dev. Bank Plc (2003) 2 SC 1 @ 13 was referred to on evaluation of evidence by an appellate Court and in conclusion, the Court is urged to allow the appeal, set aside the judgment by the lower Court and enter judgment in favour of the Appellants as per claims iv, v, vi of their case.
Respondent’s Submissions:
Issue One (1)

It is submitted that even though the lower Court was wrong to say that the agreement of 13th January, 2000 was not placed before it because it was pleaded by both parties and attached to the Respondent statement of defence which was built around it, failure by the lower Court to consider it did not occasion any miscarriage of justice to the Appellants since it was for the benefit of the Respondent. Among others, the case of Omoju v. FRN(2008) 7 NWLR (1038) 38 @ 57 was cited on when errors by a trial Court would lead to a reversal of its’ decision on appeal.
According to Counsel, the case of the Appellants would still have been dismissed even if

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the lower Court had considered the agreement of 13th January, 2000 since their case was that it did not apply to their outplacement, but relied on the agreement of 10th September, 2001. The Court is urged to so hold.
Issue Two (2)
The contention here is that the agreement of 10th September, 2001 was in respect of the outplacement of 230 employees of the Respondent on ground of redundancy, which was to be carried out on or before 14th September 2001, as agreed between the parties thereto. Counsel said that the lower Court had found that not all the Appellants’ outplacement was not by way of redundancy and the Appellants have not appealed against the said finding and so even if the said agreement was to apply, the Appellants did not state to whom of them, it was to apply to. The Court is urged to hold that the interpretation of the 10th September, 2001 agreement was correct that it did not apply to the Appellants’ case A. I. B. Ltd v. Lee & Tee Ind. Ltd (2003) 7 NWLR (819) 366 on interpretation of agreements and Section 19 of the Labour Act, Cap L1, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, were referred to in the course of the argument.
Issue Three (3)
The cases of P. A. N. Ltd. v. Oje (1997) 11 NWLR (530) 625 and Union Beverages Ltd. v. Owolabi (1988) NWLR (68) 12 as well as page 594 of 17th (sic) Edition of Black’s Law Dictionary, were cited under the issue and it is submitted that the lower Court was right to have dismissed the Appellants’ claim for payment of 20 weeks wages for each completed year of service as ex-gratia, as it was not justifiable. The Court is urged to resolve the issue in Respondent’s favour.
In conclusion, the Court is urged to ignore the Appellants’ issue 1 because it did not arise from the judgment of the lower Court on the authority of Triana Ltd v. U.T.B. (2009) 1 R (sic) (1155) 313.
In the Appellants’ Reply brief, it is maintained that failure by the lower Court to look at and evaluate the 13th January, 2000 agreement occasioned a miscarriage of justice to the Appellants and that the Appellants did not have to state to who the agreement of 10th September 2001 applied since it applied to all of them. It is also argued that the claim for ex-gratia payment was justiceable by the letter of their outplacement.
The crucial complaint by the Appellants in the issues argued above is that the lower Court held that the agreement of 10th September 2001 did not apply to their outplacement or disengagement by the Respondent. As a foundation, since the employment of the Appellants with the Respondent was in the nature of master and servant relationship, it was governed and regulated by the terms and conditions embodied in the contract or agreement between them. The rights and obligations of the parties to such contracts or agreements are to be determined from and on the terms and conditions freely agreed to by them in the relationship, which are to be interpreted and given the plain and ordinary meanings as voluntarily expressed by them. Ifeta v. SPDCN Ltd. (2006) ALLFWLR (314) 305; Larmie v. D. P. M. S. Ltd. (2005) 12 SC (Pt 1) 93; JFS Invt. Ltd. v. Brawal Line Ltd. (2010) 18 NWLR (1225).
In order to determine whether or not the 10th September, 2001 applied to the Appellants’ disengagement or outplacing from the Respondent’s employment, resort would have to be had to the conditions of the employment. The terms and conditions the Appellants as employees of the Respondent are contained in the Respondent’s Employees Handbook which was attached to the Appellants’ complaint before the lower Court.
The relevant parts of the HandBook are Articles 26, on gratuity; retirement and service gratuity and Article 27, on Redundancy. The outplacing letter from the Respondent to one (1) of the Appellants; Mr. J. L. Ojero, dated 24th May, 2004, which is at page 62 of the Record of Appeal, says, inter alia: –
“After a painstaking review of the operations of our business in response to developments in the operating environment, Management has had to streamline and rationalize the various aspects of its operations. This exercise has led to a reduction in the number of personnel that is needed to support the business.
As a result of the above, this serves to inform you that your services will no longer be required with effect from 26th May 2004.
Although, we are aware of your entitlement under the existing agreement in our industry, to enhance your exit package, management has decided that you will be paid the following:
1. 3 months pay in lieu of notice.
2. Redundancy package applicable to you as per the industry agreement between the National Union and the 
Employers Association
3. a good will ex-gratia bonus of 15 months basic pay. This is a Gift made to you by the company in appreciation of your services.
4. Service Gratuity as applicable to you.
5. Your entitlement under the Nigerian Breweries Plc Pension Fund.
It should be noted that although the redundancy agreement in our industry stipulates that an employee is not entitled to the payment of service gratuity and redundancy benefit at the same time (mutually exclusive), management has decided to pay both in addition to the goodwill ex-gratia bonus.”

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The pith of the complaint by the Appellants is that they are entitled to be paid goodwill ex-gratia as contained in the agreement of 10th September, 2001 and not that any of the benefits listed in the above letter was not paid to them. Their case is that the said agreement of 10th September, 2001 should have been used by the Respondent in computing the ex-gratia bonus to be paid to them instead of the 15 months basic salary offered and paid to them by the Respondent.
On its part, the Respondent’s case was that it disengaged some of the Appellants on retirement and others; on redundancy and used the existing agreement of 13th January, 2000 to compute the terminal benefits of all the Appellants in accordance with terms and conditions of the Appellants’ employment as contained in the Handbook. It is also the case of the Respondent that the agreement of 10th September, 2001 was made for the outplacement exercise that was carried out by the Respondent in September, 2001 and had expired when the agreement provided that the exercise should be carried out.
In its judgment, after a review of the cases presented by the parties, the lower Court had found and held as follows: –
As pointed out earlier, the collective agreement of 13th, January 2000 was not exhibited before us, so we cannot make any comment on it. That of 10th September 2001 is before the Court. It is titled ‘Conclusions reached at a meeting held on Monday September 14 2001 … between the National Union … and NB Plc Management. By the document, both parties agreed on seven itemized issues after the management had briefed the workers of the industry’s intention to out-place some of its staff. The document indicates that it affects a total of 230 employees. The present case before the Court is brought on behalf of 260 staff. By its last paragraph, the contents of the document cease to be enforceable after 14th of September 2001. This means that the document dated September 10, 2001 could not have been meant for and so cannot be applicable to the 260 staff in this suit. From our careful perusal of this document we find that it is no longer in force and, therefore, cannot be applicable to the outplacement of the claimants which carried out on 24th May 2004. We hold that this document of 10 September 2001 is not applicable to this matter at hand because the agreement is no more subsisting; it has gone into extinction after 14th of September 2001.
The claimants canvassed intensely on the fact that they are entitled to additional ex-gratia payment of twenty or eleven weeks salary for every year spent in the respondent’s industry. In PAN v. Oje, supra, at pages 635-636, ex-gratia is defined as a term applied to anything accorded as a favour as distinguished from that which may be demanded ex-debito as a matter of right. It also connotes something given out of grace, indulgence or gratuitous.Ex-gratia payment, without more, recognizes no legal obligation to pay. Thus ex-gratia payment simplicita and in the instant case, in our considered opinion, is not such that this Court can compel to be paid because it has no legal obligation and we so hold.
On the whole we hereby hold that:-
1. The Management/Union agreement in existence between the parties is enforceable according to article 27 of the handbook.
2. The agreement of 10th September 2001 does not qualify as the one contemplated in article 27 of the handbook; because it is no longer subsisting, it has gone into extinction after 14th September 2001.
Therefore it is not applicable to the claimants’ outplacement that was carried out on the 24th of May, 2004.
3. The claimants are not entitled to be paid their exit benefits in accordance with paragraphs 2 of the agreement of 10th of September 2001 since it is an expired document.
4. The claimants are not entitled to be paid additional wages as ex-gratia given that they have not established any entitlement to it.
The claimants’ claims are hereby dismissed.”
I have read the agreement of 10th September, 2001

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relied on by the Appellants in the claim against the Respondent and am in no doubt that the lower Court is right about its finding that the said agreement was specifically made for the outplacement exercise of Two Hundred and Thirty (230) employees of the Respondent which was carried out in 2001 and its lifespan was expressly stated, set out and prescribed therein.
The exercise of the outplacement of the affected employees and the agreement were to expire on or before the 14th September 2001 when the exercise was to be completed or carried out to conclusion. That agreement by its plain, simple and clear tenor and language was not intended or meant to be a standing agreement that was to apply to future or subsequent outplacing exercise(s) to be carried out later or at other times by the Respondent. The 10th September, 2001 agreement, ceased to exist and became spent with the conclusion of the outplacement of the Two Hundred and Thirty (230) employees in respect of whom it was made and mentioned therein which was to have been carried out and concluded on or before the 14th September, 2001.
Any subsequent or later outplacement exercise of other employees by the Respondent, in the absence of any other specific agreement between the Workers Union, and the Respondent on the exercise; as was done in the case of the 10th September, 2001 agreement for the Two Hundred and Thirty (230) employees in 2001, would be governed, regulated and carried out in line with the Respondent’s Employees Handbook, containing the agreed terms and conditions of the employment.
There is no dispute that the outplacement of some of the Appellants and retirement of some of them, was carried out in 2004; after the expiration of the 10th September 2001 agreement with the conclusion of the outplacement exercise it was specifically made for, and it is not the Appellants’ case that they entered into a new or other agreement for their outplacement/retirement with Respondent in 2004 which was to specifically apply to the exercise. In that situation, the outplacement exercise of the Appellants was to be carried out in accordance and in line with the Employees Handbook of the Respondent and all benefits due to the Appellants, as set out therein, would be paid to them. The Appellants’ benefits for the outplacement exercise carried out by the Respondent in 2004 could not be computed on the basis of the 10th of September, 2001 agreement which was meant and made for a concluded exercise in 2001 since it no longer existed.
Learned counsel for the Appellants has feebly argued that it was the outplacement exercise and not the agreement of 10th of September, 2001 that was to be carried out and lapse by 14th of September, 2001. The argument has ignored the preamble of the 10th of September, 2001 agreement which specifically mentioned that the outplacement it was meant and made for, was for the year 2001 and not for all times.
Furthermore, learned counsel for the Appellants has argued that the failure by the Lower Court to use or consider the 13th of January, 2000 agreement which was pleaded and placed before it, occasioned a miscarriage of justice against the Appellant. In Gbadamosi v. Dairo (2007) 1-2 SC (Pt. 11) 157 the Apex Court, per Tobi, JSC, defined miscarriage of justice as followed: –
“Miscarriage of Justice connotes a decision or outcome of legal proceedings that is prejudicial or inconsistent with the substantial rights of the party. Miscarriage of Justice means a reasonable probability of a more  favourable outcome of the case for the party alleging it Miscarriage of Justice is injustice done to the party alleging it. The burden of proof is on the party alleging that justice has been miscarried.”
In the earlier case of Nnajiofor v. Ukonu (1986) 4 NWLR (36) 505, the term miscarriage of justice was defined to mean: –
Such a departure from the rules which permit judicial procedure as to make that which happened not in the proper sense of the word Judicial procedure at all.”
See also Jinadu v. Esurombi-Aro (2005) 14 NWLR (944) 142 @ 194, Oguntayo v. Adelaja (2009) 5 NWLR (1165) 150@ 186, Larmie v. D.P.M.S. Limited (2005) 12 SC (Pt. 1) 93 @ 107.
In the present appeal, the learned counsel has merely alleged miscarriage of justice on ground of failure by the Lower Court to consider the 13th of January, 2000 agreement in the judgment, but did not even attempt to discharge the burden of demonstrating how or in what practical manner or way the Appellants were prejudiced by the error of the Lower Court. It is not sufficient to merely and simply make an allegation of whatever nature without offering some evidence of

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proof of the allegation, howbeit small, if a party is to be taken seriously on the allegation. See SB Limited v. Starite Ind. Overseas. Corp (2009) 8 NWLR (1144) 491, Oguntayo v. Adelaja (2009) 15 NWLR (1163) 150. There is no proof howsoever of any prejudice to the right claimed by the Appellants in the case they presented before the Lower Court by the error of failure to consider the 13th of January, 2000 agreement. In fact, the Appellants’ case was that the said agreement did not apply to their outplacement/retirement, but they maintained and insisted that it was the 10th of September, 2001 agreement that should have been applied in computing their ex-gratia benefit of the outplacement. So if the Lower Court did not consider the agreement, the Appellants vehemently insisted did not apply to their outplacement, what possible and reasonable prejudice could have been occasioned to them by such failure?
If any party was to legitimately complaint of failure by the Lower Court to have considered the agreement of 13th of January, 2000, it would have been the Respondent who pleaded, placed it before the Lower Court and relied heavily on it in its defence of the claim by the Appellants.
In the absence of any evidence of prejudice on the part of the Appellants for failure by Lower Court to consider the 13th of January, 2000 agreement in its judgment, the allegation of miscarriage of justice by Appellants’ Counsel is simply a mere impotent exaggeration meant to obfuscate the real and crucial issue in the appeal.
From the Record of Appeal, the Lower Court was clearly and undoubtedly in error to have stated that the 13th of January, 2000 agreement was not placed before it by any of the parties when in fact, the parties had joined issues on the said agreement in their pleadings and placed it before the Lower Court at the trial and made specific reference to it in their final addresses. However, it is not every error by a trial Court that would result in the reversal of its decision by an appellate Court. The only time an appellate would reverse the decision of a trial/lower Court on ground of an error of fact or law, is where it is demonstrated and the appellate Court is satisfied, that a real and genuine miscarriage of justice was occasioned thereby to the party complaining of the error. Otherwise, an appellate Court would not interfere with the decision of a trial/lower/Court once there is evidence upon which such decision can be supported. SeeOje v. Babalola (1991) 14 NWLR (185) 267 @ 282; Makinde v. Ojeyinka (1997) 4 NWLR (497) 80 @ 91, Omoju v. FRN (2008) 7 NWLR (1085) 38 @ 57, all cited in the Respondent’s brief.
It is also the case of learned counsel for the Appellants that the Lower Court did not properly evaluate or approach the evaluation of the evidence of the Appellants in its judgment and so wrongly arrived at its decision.
The duty of a trial Court to fully and properly evaluate all the relevant and material evidence placed before it by the parties in a case, is now so elementary that it does not need to be repeated all the time.
The law is firmly established that where a trial Court discharged that duty properly and fully, an appellate would have no power or authority to interfere with the evaluation on the ground only that it would have reached a different decision on all or even some of the facts of a case. Layinka v. Makinde (2002) 10 NWLR (775) 358 @ 375, Ugo v. Obiekwe (1989) 1 NWLR (1999) 566, Kalu v. Odili (1992) 5 NWLR (240) 130.

However, if an appellate Court is satisfied that a trial Court has failed to draw correct inferences from proved or admitted facts or has wrongly or improperly assessed the probative worth or value of undisputed evidence, it would interfere with the evaluation and make the proper and appropriate findings deserved by the evidence before the trial Court. Adebayo v. Ighodalo (1996) 5 NWLR (450) 502; Ivienagbor v. Bazuaye (1999) 5 NWLR (620) 552, Gatari v. Abu (2005) ALLFWLR (278) 1186.
Once again, the law places a burden of proof on a party who alleges improper or non evaluation of evidence by a trial Court before an appellate, to show and satisfy it that from the Record of Appeal, particularly the judgment of the trial Court, there was improper or non evaluation of the relevant and material evidence adduced before that Court, Chukwu v. NITEL (1996) 2 NWLR (430) 290, Kaduna Textile Limited v. Umar (1994) 1 NWLR (143) 162, Akinfe v. UBA Plc (2007) 10 NWLR (104) 185.
The argument by counsel for the Appellants is that the Lower Court did not properly evaluate the letters dated 2nd and 5th May, 2001 written by the Respondent for the out

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placement/retirement of the employees named therein and the 10th of September, 2001 agreement. However, even a casual glance of the judgment by the Lower Court would reveal apparently, that the said documents were fully considered by it and proper probative value ascribed to each of them. See page 113 to 115 of the Record of Appeal. The case of the Appellants’ was primarily predicated on these documents and the fact that the Lower Court found and held that the documents did not prove or show that the Appellants were entitled to the claims they made for ex-gratia bonus against the Respondent did not mean that the Lower Court did not properly evaluate them. The Lower Court has dutifully and properly considered and evaluated the relevant and material evidence placed before it, particularly by the Appellants, in its judgment and this Court finds no reason to interfere with the evaluation.
In the final result, this appeal is devoid of merit and it is dismissed. Consequently, the decision by the Lower Court delivered on the 15th of July, 2009 is hereby affirmed in its entirety.
Parties to bear their respective costs of prosecuting the appeal.
JOSEPH SHAGBAOR IKYEGH, J.C.A.: I agree with the lucid judgment prepared by my learned brother Mohammed Lawal Garba, J.C.A. (Hon. P.J.), which I had the benefit of reading in advance.
ABIMBOLA OSARUGUE OBASEKI-ADEJUMO, J.C.A.: I have been afforded the privilege of reading a draft copy of the judgment just delivered by my Learned Brother MOHAMMED LAWAL GARBA, JCA. In the aforesaid judgment his lordship has adequately dealt with issues raised for the determination of the appeal and I agree with the reasoning and conclusion contained therein.
There is no doubt that the agreement of 10th September, 2001 relied upon by the Appellants in their claim against the Respondent was specifically made for the outplacement exercise of two hundred and thirty (230) employees of the Respondent and the agreement therefore ceased to exist with the conclusion of the outplacement in respect of which it was made.
In the absence of any other specific agreement between the workers union and the Respondent, the amount for retirement and redundancy benefits paid to the Appellants would be governed by the employees handbook containing the agreed terms and conditions of the employment.
For this and the detailed reasoning contained in the lead judgment, I also hold that the appeal is devoid of merit and it is hereby dismissed. The decision of the lower Court delivered on the 15th of July, 2009 is hereby affirmed. I abide by the consequential orders in the lead judgment.
Appearances

Appellants not represented –For Appellants

AND

Malachy Omeye –For Respondent

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