Big brother Naija sponsor, Payporte global systems limited, have been sued by an aggrieved former employee for non-payment of workers’ salary since November, 2017. The Claimant further alleged that Payporte has failed to remit the contributory pension funds and personal income tax deducted from employees’ salary.

The action recently filed as Suit No: NICN/LA/139/2018 is pending before the National Industrial Court, Lagos Judicial Division.

In the lawsuit, the Claimant, one Tamunobomah Igah, alleges non-payment of earned monthly salary since November 2017 and said that Payporte gave no reason for its failure to pay salary and never assured them that it will pay at any future time. In the complaint, the Claimant stated: “that the Defendant’s (Payporte’s) non-payment of earned salary is wilful, deliberate, oppressive and intended for unjust and unfair consequences to the Claimant’s personal welfare and economic interest. While in default of staff salary for several months, Payporte deployed huge financial resources to sponsor the popular reality TV show, Big Brother Naija (BBN).

“Furthermore, the Defendant, Payporte spent lavishly on signing up evicted Big Brother Naija house mates as Brand Ambassadors. In doing these, the Defendant was absolutely indifferent to the suffering, hardship and distress of the Claimant and other employees who have not been paid their legitimate due for their labour.”

She added that ability to bankroll Big Brother Naija shows that Payporte was in good financial health and could have conveniently paid outstanding staff salary but Payporte prioritised sponsorship of Big Brother Naija above payment of salary to suffering employees of the Company.

Payporte was also alleged to have unlawfully converted multi-millions of funds it deducted from employees’ salary as pension and personal income tax and which should have been remitted to StanbicIBTC Pension Limited and the Lagos Inland Revenue Service as mandated by law.

Following the Claimant’s repeated demands for her entitlement, Payporte’s Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Bassey Eyo, was reported to have resorted to use of intimidation including threatening to “pick up” the Claimant on 23rd January, 2018.

The Claimant claims that the threat implies plans by Payporte or its CEO to abduct the Claimant or unlawfully use the machinery of law enforcement agencies to oppress, intimidate, harass and impose restraint on her personal liberty. In view of the threats, the Claimant is asking the Court to restrain Payporte and its Chief Executive Officer from carrying out the threats on the Claimant as she now lives in perpetual fear of harm to her life and personal liberty.

In the case, the Claimant is seeking to call MTN Nigeria to produce the transcript of the bullying SMS from Mr. Bassey Eyo.

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