MEET FRANK OSHANUGOR
Telecommunications giant MTN is currently embroiled in a protracted legal battle with a former top executive Mr. Ahmad Farroukh over the non-payment of his severance package. The burgeoning legal battle with MTN, which still lingers more than six-years after he had exited the company is seen as a typical case that highlights the challenges some employees face when seeking fair treatment in the corporate world.
Farroukh had served MTN meritoriously and without blemish. However, his post-employment journey has taken a different course, marred by, what many believe is an avoidable dispute over Farroukh’s entitled End of Service benefits had MTN been more judicious. The End of Service benefits accrued during his years with MTN and were at the time of his employment carried by Investcom, which was bought by MTN in mid 2006.
Mr. Farroukh, renowned for his illustrious career within the MTN Group for nine years, served as the CEO of both MTN Nigeria, MTN South Africa and as Group Chief Operating Executive; managing 19 Operations, achieving remarkable milestones in growth and profitability, including the unprecedented growth of MTN Nigeria’s subscriber base from nine to forty million during his tenure.
He was also the GCOE of MTN Group, superintending over 19 operations, the bulk of which, thanks to his instrumentality, were profitable. However, his glorious years of service has unexpectedly been marred by disputation.
Invariably, the bone of contention, it was learnt, revolves around Farroukh’ s claim for End of Service benefits entitled to him upon separation from MTN, which is believed to be in seven digits. It has now been six years since Farroukh initiated legal proceedings against MTN but the company is said to have engaged in delay tactics and stalling of the expeditious resolution of the case.
Many keen watchers of the case suspect that MTN’s intentions might be to deliberately prolong the case with a view to wearing Farroukh down, thereby pushing him to give up on his quest for justice or to incur exorbitant legal costs capable of deterring his pursuit for justice.
However, it was gathered that despite these obstacles, Mr. Farroukh remains resolute and finally the court case is scheduled for October 16th 2023. It was further revealed that his unwavering commitment to holding MTN accountable for what he believes is his rightful due has garnered attention and support from fellow employees and industry observers alike. Many view this present case as a test of whether MTN, a company that promotes fairness and champions employee rights, can live up to its public image as a responsible corporate citizen.
Mr. Farroukh’s plight raises broader questions about corporate accountability and the treatment of employees, even in successful and prominent companies.
Efforts to reach Farroukh for his comments were unsuccessful at the time of going to the press. Similar attempt to reach MTN for comments was futile. But our very reliable source confirmed that neither of the warring parties is prepared to sheath the sword. As the legal battle commences, the world watches with bated breath, eager to see if justice will ultimately prevail. The consensus among ardent followers of development in this protracted court case is that wheels of justice grind slowly but surely.