Four former staff of Signatious Hotel in Warri, Delta State, who were reportedly stripped naked on the order of the owner of the hotel who is a former Delta State, Minister for Education, Kenneth Gbagi, have demanded a public apology and a N1 billion compensation from him.
In a letter dated September 23rd, drafted by their counsel, Kunle Edun, the four employees who’s names are Mr Victor Ephraim, Gloria Oguzie, Mrs. Precious Achibong, Roselyn Okiemute Diaghwarhe, said that they were stripped naked on the orders of the ex-minister because of a tip given to them on the 20th of August by a guest who lodged at the hotel for four days.
The letter is titled, ‘Trial by ordeal, torture, stripping naked and bestial conduct of Signatious Hotel and yourself in an organised show of shame and animalism: Notice of intention to seek full legal redress’. It reads in part;
“That after the guest’s stay, he gave our clients the sum of N105, 000 as tips for the good time that he had at the hotel.
”This again, is not unusual in the hospitality business. That the hotel did not lose any money neither was any alleged to have been stolen.
”You told our clients menacingly that they are not entitled to tips, as all tips belong to you. As a matter of fact, you categorically stated that they were not supposed to have monies in their accounts as long as they were working for you.”
According to the letter, Gbagi on the 17th of September, forcefully took the victims, one of whom was a married woman to the hotel warehouse in the presence and assistance of the armed mobile policemen and at gunpoint ordered them “to take off their clothes”.
”The threatening presence of the armed policemen who willingly did your bidding, you directed your son of 15 years old (a minor) Master Egba Gbagi, to film and take photos of our clients’ nakedness” and then “summoned the other staff of the hotel to see the nakedness of our clients”the letter read
The ex-minister and hotel owner has now been given a five days ultimatum among others, pay the former employees N1 billion as compensation and tender an unreserved apology to them.