3 December 2012

Nigeria: Court Sets Dec 10 for Indian Doctors' Case

An Abuja Federal High Court has fixed December 10 to decide whether or not it will grant an order sought by two Indian doctors who worked at an Abuja based Indian managed hospital, Primus Hospital, asking that their employers release to them their international passports and other travel documents allegedly being held illegally.

Amit Bali, a consultant anesthetist and Neeraj Singh, a pathology consultant, who signed two-year contracts in February and began to work at the hospital in March, resigned in September. Apart from the hospital, the suits also named the hospital's chairperson, Achla Dewan; chief financial officer, Pinto Jayraj; medical superintendent, Eugene Obiora Emordi and the Nigerian Immigration Service as respondents.

According to the documents filed by their counsel Veronica Shinnaan in Abuja, the doctors alleged that they were coerced into signing the contracts which were not signed by their employers and that they have been denied their salaries for three months.

In separate affidavits, the doctors said they wrote to the hospital demanding for their salaries and the release of their international passports and travel documents after giving a notice of resignation but the hospital replied via email stating that they have no right to resign and should return to work.

Bali and Singh are seeking an order restraining the respondents from illegally repatriating them from Nigeria or cancelling their Visas pending the determination of the suit.

They want an order compelling the respondents to return their international passports and other travel documents in their possession. They also want the court to restrain the respondents from further harassing, threatening, intimidating or verbally insulting them.

On November 22, Justice Gabriel Kolawole asked the respondents to within seven days show cause why the orders should not be granted but no response has been received from them.

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