By Yankuba Jallow
The civil suit involving 145 former employees of the Ocean Bay Hotel is set for ruling.
These men sued the Social Security and Housing Finance Corporation for unlawful termination of their contracts (employment). The case has now lasted for 2 years and the claimants are able to bring in two witnesses, due to the delays the case has suffered from. The matter has been hampered on several occasions by so many long adjournments.
The case has been handled by different magistrates and there is new magistrate handling the matter now. Senior magistrate, N. Blessed, registered her willingness to proceed with the matter rapidly. The failure of yesterday’s ruling came about because the documents tendered in court that the court should rule on, were not in the case filed and caused the delay of the case.
The court failed to rule on two occasions and is now set for ruling on July 5, 2017. The court will be ruling on the objections raised by defense lawyers saying an individual cannot give an evidence for the whole group which was countered by the plaintiffs’ counsel, Barrister E. Sanneh.
In his defense, Counsel Sanneh held that it is not against any principle of law supporting his argument with a provision of Industrial Tribunal laws which he said conforms to it. The defense lawyer objected that K. Ceesay (PW1) cannot tender evidence on behalf of all the plaintiffs. The employment contract documents were tendered and the court shall rule on the contention and proceed with the case on the adjourned date.
The documents they tendered have employment terms ‘permanent and pensionable employees’ which is the cause of the civil suit before the court. They have served the Hotel for more than a decade and their termination came about when the company (hotel) was leased to BPI Investment on a letter, dated 3rd December 2013.