Former Minister of State for Education, Kenneth Gbagi
Ade Adesomo, Abuja
FOUR former employees of Signatious Hotel, Warri, Delta State, who were allegedly stripped on the orders of the President of the Hotel and former Minister of State for Education, Mr Kenneth Gbagi, sought N1bn of compensation and public apology from him.
The victims’ legal team, led by Mr. Kunle Edun of Tri-Lex Partners Law Firm, made the requests, among others, in a letter sent to Gbagi, who is also a lawyer, on Wednesday 23 September 2020.
The letter was titled, ‘Trial by ordeal, humiliation, stripping naked and bestial actions of Signatious Hotel and yourself in an orchestrated display of shame and animalism: notice of intent to pursue complete legal redress.’
Edun said that their clients, Mr. Victor Ephraim, Gloria Oguzie, Mrs. Precious Achibong, Roselyn Okiemute Diaghwarhe, had been given the advice of a guest who stayed at the hotel for four days on his departure on August 20, 2020.
The letter read in part, “After the guest’s stay, he gave our clients the amount of N105, 000 as tips for the nice time he had at the hotel.
“This again is not uncommon for the hospitality industry. That the hotel didn’t lose any money, nor was it supposed to have been stolen.
“You’ve told our clients threateningly that they don’t have the right to tips, as all tips belong to you. As a matter of fact, you categorically mentioned that they were not allowed to have money in their accounts for as long as they worked for you.
The letter added that on September 17, 2020, Gbagi allegedly forcibly took the victims, one of whom was a married woman to the hotel warehouse in the presence and assistance of the armed mobile policemen and at gunpoint ordered them “to pull off their clothes”.