The four former staff of Signatious Hotel in Warri, Delta State, who were allegedly stripped naked on the order of the owner of the hotel who is a former Minister of State for Education, Kenneth Gbagi, have written a letter to him demanding N1bn compensation and a public apology from him.
In a letter drafted by their counsel, Kunle Edun and dated September 23, the four employees namely Mr Victor Ephraim, Gloria Oguzie, Mrs. Precious Achibong, Roselyn Okiemute Diaghwarhe, said they were stripped naked on the orders of the ex-minister because of the tips a guest who lodged at the hotel for four days gave to them on his departure on August 20, 2020.
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, the ex-Minister on September 17, 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 pull 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 has now been given five days to among others, pay the former employees N1bn as compensation and tender an unreserved apology to them.