British American Tobacco Nigeria Responds to False Allegations by Ex-Employee
British American Tobacco Nigeria (BATN) has declared that its estranged staff, Timothy Ogbole who is currently on a war of attrition with the company was disengaged in line with company policy for falling short in his performance rating for the year 2016.
In a statement released by the company tagged “holding statement” claimed that Ogbole’s performance rating was “deemed to be well below the required expectations following thorough evaluations by his Line Manager and other Senior Managers”.
“As a result of his poor performance he was advised to be placed on a Performance Improvement Plan (PIP), a tool designed to help individuals recover from performance deficiencies. The PIP is a well-known tool used in addressing performance rating deficiencies in employees, not only in BAT but it is also recognised as a global best practice in HR Management”.
Ogbole, a Process Engineer/ Pest and Hygiene Manager, until his disengagement, had worked with the company for over a decade, alleged that BAT had denied him his entitlements.
According to him, he was forced out of the company through a plot hatched and executed by Mr. Ilker Ogretir, a Turkish national and BAT’s Manufacturing Manager. He also alleged that Mr. Ogretir was involved in “certain fraudulent activities and stock fixing”.
“Mr. Ogbole verbally and in writing refused on several occasions to proceed on PIP – he even refused interventions by Senior Executives at the most senior levels within the company. He started recording various conversations with individuals within BAT without the permission of the persons he was recording and openly threatened to maliciously blackmail the company and its management with the recordings”.
However, the company’s statement further reads in part:
“Having repeatedly breached company policies and following several failed interventions on the matter, the company was left with no other option than to terminate Mr. Ogbole’s employment. He has since been paid all due entitlements in line with company policy and in accordance with the guidelines stipulated under the Nigerian labour law”, it claims
Since his exit from the company, Mr. Ogbole was said to have made spurious and unfounded claims against the company, the latest being his recent allegations published by the Sahara Reporters and Business Day Newspaper which are clearly false, malicious and intended to put the company’s reputation into disrepute.
According to the company, Mr. Ogbole’s accusations against the company are unsubstantiated, without merit and it advised that it should be disregarded.
“In fact, one of the employees alleged by Mr. Ogbole to have been demoted by the company was promoted and is currently working in the company’s head office in the United Kingdom”, the company claimed.
Freddy Messanvi, Legal and External Affairs Director, BAT West Africa stated that, “We take these allegations seriously because we ensure strict adherence to conducting our operations in ways that respect the human rights of our employees, the people we work with and the communities we operate in.”
Mr. Messanvi, also added that, “We also abide by the local laws and are compliant with not just the local regulations as required by all relevant local agencies but we also benchmark ourselves against the requirements for labour practices globally, such as the OECD guidelines for Multinational Enterprises as provided for by our parent company.”