10 Dismissed Staff Sue ADB

Ten staff of Agricultural Development Bank (adb) have filed a suit at an Accra High Court challenging their dismissal from the bank.

The dismissed staff have been accused of concealing information about bounced cheques presented by clients which management said is contrary to a 2005 Bank of Ghana (BoG) notice, as well as breaching the Collective Bargaining Agreement dated January 2014 to December 2015.

The suit, dated November 24, 2015, said their dismissals were wrongful and unlawful. 

The dismissed staff who filed the suit are Charles Oduro, Panin Fredua-Agyeman, Daniel Dery, Yaw Osei-Poku, Priscilla Kuranchie, Mark Imoru, Nurideen Mohammed, Kwabena Agyanim-Boateng, Abdul-Mansuur Ibrahim and Kenneth Eben Adanyinah.

They are seeking an order restraining the management of adb or its agents from dealing with their bank accounts with intent to changing the terms of loans advanced to all, except Nurideen Mohammed.

Also, the court should order adb to completely write off loans advanced to them from the date of dismissal as part of compensation for the purported dismissal in addition to compensation of seven years gross salary for wrongful dismissal to each of the dismissed staff.

The dismissed staff also want GH₵150,000 each for the embarrassment caused them.

They are also demanding an apology from adb to be published in a national daily newspaper within 14 days from the day of judgement, in addition to an excellent reference from adb signed by the Managing Director, as well as general damages, costs, including legal fees and every relief (s) as the court deems fit.

According to the lawsuit, the dismissed workers were served with memos interdicting them pending a disciplinary hearing for allegedly breaching notices and policies.

They were made to answer queries, in which they denied any wrongdoing and lack of knowledge of the alleged acts as constituting conduct in breach of any laws, regulations, rules and said notices and policies.

The affected staff explained that causing cheques to be marked ‘Drawers Confirmation Not Received’ (DCNR) did not breach BoG notice or policies as alleged by adb neither did doing same conceal the true state of affairs of customers’ funds in their accounts nor did doing same cause financial loss to adb.

The workers argued that adb management saying that employees should mark cheques Refer to Drawer (RD) to depict insufficient funds in accounts of customers to attract appropriate levies was rather belated and not the practice in said circumstances.

According to them, assuming without admitting that ‘Drawers Confirmation Not Received’ (DCNR) was wrong, all staff, including those of them dismissed, used same for said purposes at all material times without any caution, without prejudice or intention to violate the notice and policies and therefore to cause financial loss to adb.

They noted that as relationship managers, their role in connection with clearing cheques at all material times was the front-end activity on simply contacting customers to authenticate cheques and supplying feedback by 2pm, after which the back-end activity of the ultimate decision regarding said cheques are carried out without reference to them.

Six of the affected staff, including their union chairman, are contesting that their dismissal was a grand design of witch-hunt and victimisation for their lawful roles in exercising their fundamental rights and freedoms of association and to participate in lawful protest s to protect their collective welfare and economic interests as employees of adb.

They are of the view that the purported disciplinary proceedings against them were irregular, improper and in breach of the rules of natural justice as regards the constitution of the panel and the proceedings.

According to them, the charges against them are neither maintainable nor same proven against them to warrant their dismissals.

They allege that some of their colleagues who were also queried and interdicted on same charges have not been dismissed after the purported disciplinary proceedings.