Representing 1678 former employees of Enterprise Bank, Human Rights lawyer Mr Bamidele Aturu stunned the opposition, presenting his case in a 7,158-page suit at the National Industrial Court.
No suit in the history of the court was said to have been that voluminous.
Five copies of the 7,252-page documents, making a total of 35,790 pages, were filed on behalf of the plaintiffs.
The court officials initially refused to accept the massive documents, which were taken to the court registry by some members of Aturu’s staff.
When the court officials refused to accept the massive court papers, the handlers were said to have immediately put a call to Aturu, who asked them to report the case to a senior registrar of the court.
The senior official, who had yet to see the bulky documents, immediately dismissed the excuse his juniors might have possibly given for rejecting the processes. However, he opted to go to the registry, apparently to scold the workers for being “lazy”.
His countenance however changed when he saw the sprawling mass of documents. His bottled fury was said to have immediately metamorphosed to shock. He was said to have redirected the rage which he had wanted to unleash on his subordinates for being lazy, at Aturu’s staff, querying the basis for the enormity of the court processes.
He reluctantly directed his juniors to accept the documents since the rules of the National Industrial Court, unlike that of the Court of Appeal, did not put limit on the number of pages court processes must have.
Similar scenario was said to have played out when the court processes were served on Enterprise Bank Limited, which is the second defendant in the suit.
At the Head Office of the Enterprise Bank Ltd in Victoria Island, Lagos, legal officers of the bank were said to be pushing the responsibility of accepting the court process to one another.
The suit was filed by Aturu on behalf 1,678 sacked workers of the Enterprise Bank Limited who were seeking about N2.75bn entitlements from the bank.
Our correspondent who saw a copy of the 7,158-page court documents observed that the plaintiffs’ statement of facts alone took 1,820 pages. The narration of facts took 45 pages; the computation of the claimant’s claims took 1,790 and the reliefs took 43 pages.
The documents also comprise separate bundle of 42 pages of document; 142 pages of general complaints; 1668 pages of the claimants’ letters of appointment and 1,701 pages of statements on oath. Two pages of list of witnesses and another two pages of list of documents were also part of the documents.
When contacted, Aturu explained that the number of the claimants involved and the complexity of the issues raised in the suit were largely responsible for the size of the processes.