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Chicken Republic drags former Staff to Court after Police Trashed Case

Chicken Republic drags former Staff to Court after Police Trashed Case

In a twisted case trashed by the Nigerian Police Force, NPF, Chicken Republic of Food Concepts drags it staff to court for alleged theft.

 

Oluwo Oluwafemi, an excellent staff of Chicken Republic who gained promotion to manager within six months is being accused of making stock worth 2.1 million disappear overnight.

 

Mr Oluwafemi was a former National Youth Corp, NYSC, member who was deployed to Sokoto State for service after which he got employed as Assistant Restaurant Manager at the Chicken Republic branch located at 19 Bank Road, beside Zenith Bank, Sokoto.

 

During the course of investigation, the police found some variations in report; for reason best known, the area manager, one Lukman Ishola allegedly added figures to the report to make the matter a big one.



According to Tomiwa, younger brother to the accused, Mr Oluwafemi in defence requested for “all the records (SIC, BIN card, stock movement, etc.,) be brought to the police station and all the remaining 6 managers be brought in to for questioning, since he doesn’t have direct contact with the so called stock.”

 

Going through the records, the Nigerian Police Force (Gwiwa Police Station), Sokoto, also found out that the shift managers has been falsifying their records – it’s these records that the shift managers bring that he uses to make his report.

 

Seeing the error, Mr Oluwo Oluwafemi ‘was then released on bail’, since he had been there for more than 48 hours (Friday to Sunday of ).

 

The police asked everyone including all the shift managers and the Area manager who is accusing Mr Oluwafemi to come on Sunday 10am for continuation, but he (area manager) didn’t show up, they called him on Monday too 10am he didn’t show up.

 

For one whole week, no one from Chicken Republic answered Police call; the week after Mr Oluwo Oluwafemi was officially allowed to go as a free man since there was no case to defend.

 

Having lost his job and to regain self, the accused moved quickly back to Lagos, after a whole month of the case and police discharge. His younger brother, while looking for help in the process also lost his job at Fruit and Veggies.

 

“I was working for another company that supplied CR vegetables but my brother’s issue affected mine and I lost my job too.



“So we went home and we started building our lives again”

 

This all happened between April and May 2021.

Chicken Republic drags former Staff to Court after Police Trashed Case
Chicken Republic drags former Staff to Court after Police Trashed Case

Suddenly in August, 2021, Gwiwa Police Station, Sokoto, called Mr Olowo Oluwafemi to start coming to their station; since he wasn’t there and still balance his new job in Lagos, men of the Nigerian Police Force went ahead to arrest his surety and then freshly accusing him of jumping bail.

 

“Unfortunately the man was remanded for like 5 days in the prison before he could be bailed…….when my mum heard this she had to mandate us to come back to Sokoto and appear in the police station so they’ll drop the case against the surety,” Tomiwa narrated.

 

“We got to Sokoto some days back and called the police man IPO that we’re around. Meanwhile we had contracted a lawyer, the same lawyer that stood for the surety in court. He asked us to send a mail to CR asking for what they want.

 

The surety lost his job also and “wasn’t given a hearing at the work place, he was just taken to the police.”

 

Prior to his second arrest and most likely court appearance scheduled for Monday, 13th September, 2021, Mr Olowo Oluwafemi had these mail conversations with Chicken Republic’s Legal representative simply known as Mr Osagie.

 

Dear Osagie,

I write to bring you up to speed as regards my travail with our company thus far. I was hitherto the restaurant manager at the Chiken Republic, Sokoto. On the 9th day of April 2021, Lukman Ishola, my line manager had me arrested and detained on allegations of converting company products for personal use. I was detained for three days and during my detention, police investigation revealed some discrepancies in the documentations of the shift manager’s Short Interval Control (SIC) as with the Bin Cards. I raised alarm over this but the police waived it aside. Lukman yet laid another allegation that my brother who works for Fruit and Veggies colluded with me to defraud the company and this thus made it obvious to me that he was only phishing for anything to indict me on. He stopped showing up at the police station despite repeated calls by the police to show up in the hope that I will remain there for so long. I was however released on bail by the police and I stayed back in Sokoto for a month after hoping to hear from both the company and the police. I never got any invitation for hearing from FC PLC which I believe to be the standard procedure, or any correspondence at all. I later tried to get through to Lukman and Glory, the Regional Manager, but I was not able to reach them to know my fate. I waited for a month but became stranded thereafter and on getting through to the police, the police inspector in charge of my case told me that Lukman has not been serious with my case and has not called on the case. I thereafter travelled. On getting home my health deteriorated. It later came to my attention that Lukman called the police after I already left for Lagos. I informed the police that I was away. Lukman however pressurised the police to charged my bail Surety to court on the grounds that I absconded. I hereby want to state that it is my belief that if FC PLC has a legal dispute with me as an employee, there are channels and procedures to follow. I’ll like to know the position of the company as this is becoming untenable and I’m being harassed daily by the police, I never stole from the store, neither have I ever converted company property for personal use. I’ve had several difficulties in running the Sokoto store since Lukman’s appointment as area manager, which were never a problem prior to his appointment. I’ve had several situations in the store where imprest would not be paid for consecutive weeks, which hinders the running of the store and would leave us scrambling around trying to get products, with Lukman not unable to provide the needed support. Whenever I try to reach out to the Regional Manager he refers me back to my Line/A Manager which I understand to be the protocol. What I do in such situations is to take alternative measures to keep the store running. At no time have I ever asked for products to be sold and cash be remitted to me, nor do I take products I haven’t paid for. I believe strongly that Lukman has had preconceived notions about me as he even complained about the fact that I eat the Chickwhizz meal often, which I’ve always paid for, while I’ve always wondered if working for FC PLC is expected to make me miserly. So if FC PLC believes they have a concrete dispute to resolve with me, I’m willing and available to discuss a resolution or otherwise resort to litigation. I’ll not have my rights infringed upon and people around me harassed by FoodConcepts Plc and be expected to stay silent. Your prompt response to this my appeal is much anticipated.

 

Regards,
Oluwafemi Oluwo H.



 

So in response to this they lawyer replied,

Dear Oluwafemi,

 

This is to acknowledge your email.

 

I have spoken to Lukman and Sokoto Trainee Area Manager to have discussions with you(as indicated in your mail) at the Sokoto Shop.

 

Now that you are back in Sokoto, kindly indicate when you would be available to meet with the above mentioned staff.

 

Please treat as urgent.

Dear Osagie,

As I indicated in my previous email, I am available on Friday 10/9/2021 if possible to discuss the matter with the Current Trainee Area Manager and Lukman Ishola as well.

Regards,
Oluwafemi.

 

Then

Dear Oluwafemi,

Lukman and the Trainee Area Manager would have the meeting with you for 10am at the shop tomorrow 10/09/2021.

Regards

 

So after this a meeting was arranged today in their store Sokoto. But…

 

“After they waited for almost 2 hours none showed up. Then the manager there came and he was asked about the meeting he said he wasn’t aware he now called Lukman (area manager) he said he’s coming.”

 

Minutes later, in Chicken Republic store house, police showed up and arrested Mr Oluwafemi. But before he was arrested he sent these mails.

Dear Osagie,

Good day, I’m bringing to your attention that I’ve been in the Sokoto store for well over an hour and I’ve not been communicated to by Lukman nor is he currently available in the store as at 11:50 am. I believe strongly that he was made aware of this meeting and if he has had reasons to be unavailable, then proper communication is expected. This is an utter lack of civility and I’m inclined to believe he is unwilling to sit with us to have a discussion.

 

Regards,
Oluwafemi.

 



Dear Osagie,
In observance of utmost good faith to my bidding and appeal, going by the correspondence I had with you, I came in for the said meeting scheduled for 10 O’clock this morning but Lukman never showed up. It was not until around 12 noon that the Investigative Police Officer came in. I’ve been hereby told by the Investigating officer here that, Lukman called him to inform him we have no scheduled meeting with him or our company and that the police should take it up from here.

I’ve tried to reach out to FC PLC to find a resolution to this continual harrassment at the hands of the police without any proper in house investigation and conclusive/ hollistic audit with allowance for the report to be defended. This last shot at me seems to be the last straw that will break the camel’s back.

Regards,
Oluwafemi.

Chicken Republic drags former Staff to Court after Police Trashed Case
Chicken Republic drags former Staff to Court after Police Trashed Case

As at the time of filing this report, all effort to reach Food Concept Plc and Chicken Republic have proven abortive. The police most likely led by Lukman Ishola and Mr Osagie will be presenting Mr Olowo Oluwafemi at the Gwiwa Magistrate Court by 9am Monday (today) 13th, September.

 

The accused will be represented by Human Rights Lawyer, Hamza Liman of Mujeli Law Firm.

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