A 27-year-old lady, Miss Chisom Metu, has alleged being assaulted by her employer, Chief Lambert Ibe, Managing Director of Mega-Band 97.3 FM located along Okigwe Road in Owerri, the Imo State capital.
She said that her brief stay as an employee of Mega-Band 97.3 FM was that of disappointment and regrets. In a statement made available to Daily Champion, the Anambra State-born young lady said she wants justice over the assault and disgrace she allegedly suffered in the hands of her employer and recovery of her phone.
Narrating her ordeal, Chisom said she was highly elated when a family friend secured employment for her in the radio station as an on-air-personality. Without wasting time, she left Lagos for her new work place in Owerri on May 1, 2017 and reported at the station the next day, May 2.
According to her, the family friend who secured the job for her had said beforehand that her monthly salary would be N50, 000, which she also accepted in good faith adding that she never knew that her joy would soon turn to sorrow.
But, that happened sooner than expected as she currently battles to redeem her battered image. She alleged that her employer, Chief Ibe not only broke all the contractual agreements she had with him but also assaulted and disgraced her.
On resumption of duty, she said she met with her employer to be sure that what her family friend promised her, regarding the pay package was not a third party information. She needed to hear from the horse’s mouth and her employer was alleged to have reassured her that her salary would be N50, 000 per month.
She said: “When I got there, I met the employer, Chief Lambert Ibe, who is also the Managing Director (MD). I had a brief chat with him, where he agreed to pay me N50,000 as salary, just like the person that linked me with him told me earlier. During the discussion, I told him I had not worked in a radio station before but I had done a couple of jobs in television stations. He then asked me to come back the next day to see the Admin Manager.”
As a greenhorn on the new assignment, going by what she told Chief Ibe, she was referred to the admin manager, who would groom her on her new job. The admin manager, identified as Mr. Anyanwu was alleged to have told the young lady that she would have to undergo a two-week-training programme on her new job before she would be given her appointment letter. She said the admin manager also promised that the company would give her a stipend for the training but did not specify the exact amount involved.
Miss Metu further alleged that the training earlier scheduled to last two weeks, eventually stretched beyond the period without any stipend from the management as promised. “I didn’t complain. I continued until May 23, when the MD’s wife, Mrs. Ibe popularly called mummy by the staff, gave me the employment letter. I couldn’t read it there, so I asked her to allow me take it home and return it the next day,” she said.
She stated that when she got home and read through the letter, what she saw was completely out of the agreed term. The salary figure in the appointment letter, according to her was N30, 000 per month, instead of N50, 000, which was the alleged initial agreement. She said she became confused and angry at the same time but felt that she needed to inform the family friend who secured the job for her before proceeding to her employer for verification.
“So, I called the lady who connected me with Chief Ibe and explained what has happened. She told me not to accept it but advised that I should see my employer the next day. On May 24, when I got to the office, I met his wife, through whom we get to him. I told her that the salary in my letter of appointment was not the agreement I had before coming down to Owerri and which her husband also accepted before I resumed work.
“She went into the office to tell her husband what I said and he asked her to collect from me a documented copy of the agreement I had with the lady. But, I told her that it was an oral agreement and not a documented one. She went in again to tell him what I said but when she came out, the story changed. She told me that there was nothing that could be done about it, and that I was still under training. I told her that I was already through with the training.”
As if the denial that she was never promised N50, 000 as her salary per month was not enough, the company was also said to have denied ever promising to pay her any stipend for the training. “At this point, I requested for the stipend, which they promised me. She went in again and came out with another negative response thus: “Oga is asking if you and the lady who assisted you to get the job or you and the admin manager signed anything for the stipend.”
She stressed that just after Mrs. Ibe came out to announce to her that there was no promise of stipend anywhere, the MD stormed out of his office and confronted her. “After he came out, he asked what the problem was. I told him the salary range on the appointment letter was not what I was promised earlier, which he also corroborated on the first day I met him in his office. He still insisted that I produced a documented copy of the agreement to that effect. I told him the only evidence I had was a chat on my phone. But, as I was about to show him the text conversation, he flared up and said that he did not want to see anything on my phone. He said if I didn’t have a documented copy I should get out of his office or he would throw me out.
“Surprised at his outburst, I asked him what my offence was that made him want to throw me out of his office. The next thing I got for such a daring question was a heavy slap on my face, followed by pushing and punching,” she narrated.
She narrated that as she was being assaulted and disgraced, her eye glasses went off her eyes, while the MD’s daughter identified as Uju, seized phone from her in the process.
“My only offence was to have asked what I did wrong. As he was feasting on me, he succeeded in pushing me down the stairs. As the drama went on, his wife and daughter alongside his secretary was present,” she said.
Infuriated by what had happened, the young lady headed straight to the police headquarters, Owerri, where she reported the incident. She said she later took the police officers to Chief Ibe’s office but he was no longer there. “I asked for my phone but his daughter denied taking it; so she was arrested, detained but later released on bail to their lawyer, who promised to produce the man at the station the next day,” she said.
Miss Metu alleged that rather than report at the police headquarters, Owerri where the matter was reported, Chief Ibe, in a very curious manner, reported the same case at Umuahia and has been trying to influence the transfer of the case from Owerri to Umuahia.
She said: “Up till date the man has not reported at the police headquarters. All efforts to get across to him has not produced any positive result as he still walks around a free man after what he did to me. He went to Umuahia to report the case at Zone 9 and asked that the case be transferred there but the Commissioner of Police (CP) out rightly refused.”
When contacted on the issue on phone, Chief Ibe said they are operating radio station, “a staff erred and we want to caution her (Chisom) but she came and caused a problem. Anyway, that is not the issue; the issue is that the matter is already before the Imo State High Court and that everything had to be explained according to the laws of the land.
Chief Ibe however, threatened to sue any media that reports the case. ‘‘You know that any media that reports or challenge a case in the court is calling for a law suit. If she wins in the court we pay her damages, if we win her, she will pay us damages. I don’t know why she is running up and down from media to media; somebody called me from another media house not quite long .
When reminded that he ought to have listened to the whole allegations before responding, he said: “There is no need because a matter that is in the court is nowhere to be discussed in any form. So, when the judgment is passed, then we can talk as media house that we are.”
When asked why he (Chief Ibe) did not report to the police station when the complaint was made by Chisom, he asked our reporter if he was a Judge or law enforcement agent.
When asked about the alleged phone taken from the young lady, he said: “Write a report on it and I will charge you for character assassination. Our management will charge your management. Reacting to the development, the Imo State Police Public Relations Officer, Andrew Enwerem said: “ why are you interested in an assault case, why are you from lagos reporting the case of assault.
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