The Presiding Judge of the Portharcourt Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Faustina Kola-Olalere has declared that the late Deinma Cyrus Ikpaki’s death occurred in the course of his employment, ordered the Nigeria Social Insurance Trust Fund [NSITF] Management Board to compute, calculate and pay compensation to the deceased’s father and next-of-kin, Cyrus Moses Ikpaki, within two weeks.
From facts, the claimant- Mr. Cyrus Moses Ikpaki the father of the late Deinma Ikpaki who died in the service of his employer, sought among others for an order of mandamus compelling the NSITF to pay compensation with the sum of N10,000,000.00 (Ten Million Naira) as general damages.
In defense, the defendant- NSITF Management Board maintained that Late Deinma Cyrus Ikpaki’s death did not arise out of or in the course of employment but after he had left his workplace, urged the court to dismiss the case.
In opposition, the Ikpaki’s counsel maintained that the employer’s contractor camped the deceased and other employees at its camp which is still part of his workplace, that the late Ikpaki employer informed the commission to promptly pay compensation to his next-of-kin but the order was refused, urged the court to grant the relief sought.
Delivering the judgment after careful perusal of the submission of both counsel, the presiding Judge, Justice Kola-Olalere held that the deceased died in the course of his employment that the premises where late Deinma Cyrus Ikpaki, was found dead qualifies as the deceased’s ‘Workplace’ within the provision of the Employees’ Compensation Act.
The Court ordered the defendant, the Employer’s Insurance Company to promptly compute/calculate and pay compensation for the demise of late Deinma Cyrus Ikpaki in the course of his work to his father, Cyrus Moses Ikpaki.
On the claim for the sum of N10,000,000.00 General Damages, Justice Kola-Olalere held that the aim of an award of damages is not to make a windfall or excessive profit, awarded the sum of N1,000,000.00 (One Million Naira) in favour of the claimant for cost of action.