Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Nigerian law firm activates ‘no PVC-no salary’ policy for lawyers, paralegals, other employees

“I have the right to hire and fire because it is my law firm,” Mr Agbasiere told The Gazette on Friday morning.

• June 10, 2022
PVCs used to illustrate the story [Photo credit: BBC]

A law firm, Antonio Lex Firma, has threatened to withhold salaries of its employees if they do not have the Permanent Voter Card (PVC) as part of their civic duty ahead of the 2023 general elections.

The nation goes to the poll next year to elect legislators (both state and federal), governors and the president.

“I am directed by the Principal Partner of Antonio Lex Firma Barr.A.K Agbasiere (KSJI) to inform all the Staff of the firm and the domestic Staff that 9th and 10th of June, 2022 will be Work Free (sic) day,” said the Awka-based law firm in a memo seen by Peoples Gazette. “This is to enable all the staff to go and register and get their PVC. Consequently, anyone without PVC will henceforth not receive Salary.”

Defending his action, the managing partner of Antonio Lex Firma, Kelechi Agbasiere said his action was not a violation of his employees’ rights because it is his firm and he has the powers to set the rules as long as there is fairness.

“I have the right to hire and fire because it is my law firm,” Mr Agbasiere told The Gazette on Friday morning.

He added, “You are obligated to perform the civic duty, otherwise you show yourself as unpatriotic and irresponsible and it can be a ground for administrative punishment.”

Noting that he announced the policy ahead and gave employees time off to comply, Mr Agbasiere said he would be bearing the cost of their compliance since he would not make deductions from their salaries for the two days the employees would be away from work.

Meanwhile, the law firm’s no-PVC-no salary policy has sparked debates, drawing knocks and kudos from different quarters.

In a similar development, the Alaba international Market in Lagos was shut down on Thursday for traders to obtain their PVCs ahead of the 2023 general elections.

Celebrated Nigerian artiste, Folarin Falana aka Falz the bahd guy will perform at a free concert for citizens who have their PVCs or Temporary Voter Cards on June 11.

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