Details Of How TOTAL Sacked Staff Battling With Brain Surgery Emerges

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Details Of How TOTAL Sacked Staff Battling With Brain Surgery Emerges-Brand Spur Nigeria
Details Of How TOTAL Sacked Staff Battling With Brain Surgery Emerges-Brand Spur Nigeria

Oghenero Ozobeme, who hails from Orogun, Delta State has revealed how TOTAL E&P allegedly maltreated her before she got sacked after she had brain surgery.

Narrating her ordeal via a report cited on Daily Post, Ozobeme recalled that on April 30, 2020, amid the COVID-19 lockdown, TOTAL communicated that her services were no longer required after returning from emergency brain surgery in Malaysia in 2015 funded by her husband.

She said the sack letter was dispatched after the management of the oil giant got a subpoena to appear and testify in court.

“The termination letter was delivered to me at home on the 29th of April 2020 during the COVID-19 restrictions.

“It came from the Managing Director. Infact, the line manager had assigned tasks to me on the same day as I worked from home”, she said.

Ozobeme Narrates How Her Relationship With TOTAL Turned Sour After A Wrong Medical Diagnosis

In 2006, she presented details of extended missed periods and negative pregnancy to TOTAL, she says.

She was sent for a pregnancy test and abdominal scan instead of a hormonal assay test.

The scan however revealed polycystic growths on her ovaries, a condition that was wrongly diagnosed as an isolated ovarian cyst.

Ozobeme required hormonal drug treatment but was negligently put through multiple avoidable surgeries that sliced and diced her ovaries.

Afraid that she could lose her ovaries following the wrong diagnosis, she had to privately seek further medical assistance abroad or a second opinion.

In Canada, she was diagnosed with a pituitary brain tumour, with impending brain surgery.

“Before the brain surgery, I first had to undergo a complex surgery to save and reconstruct at least one of my ovaries. I contacted my employers to seek guidance on my medical absence. I was literally on my death bed at this point.

“The response I got from TOTAL was shockingly dehumanizing,” Ozobeme says, fighting back tears as her husband, Charles, clasps her hand in his, her head on his broad shoulders.

“I was asked to certify my anticipated recovery date. TOTAL threatened me with termination. I was viciously kicked out of the payroll with no health or sickness benefits. I had to cut short my trip abroad where I was undergoing brain surgery treatment, to return back to Nigeria to resume work,” she adds.

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To add salt to the wounds, Ozobeme says her case was mismanaged at St Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, for almost a year, “till an MRI scan revealed an associated tumour bleed.”

Before she was eventually sacked in 2020, TOTAL “orchestrated a smear campaign to discredit me. They engaged in intimidation and desperate fraudulent cover-up to humiliate and silence me.

“I had to seek legal redress, a course of action that drew the attention of PENGASSAN (Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria) executives.

“PENGASSAN tried to dissuade me from filing a suit. When they failed, they joined the smear campaign to vilify me,” Ozobeme says.

Husband’s Faith On The Matter

The husband, Charles Ozobeme, said the couple have accepted their fate as Oghenero would not be able to give birth again.

“We went through the trauma of open-head surgery with huge fatality risks that has left her a victim of permanent hormonal derangement.

“She can no longer drive because she suffers permanent visual impairment. Our greatest pain is that TOTAL, rather than sympathize, engaged in intimidation.”

TOTAL’s Response When Contacted

Reacting, TOTAL, through its Lawyers TEMPLARS, said the allegations form the subject of two lawsuits currently before the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

“These matters are not only live and pending before the court but also the claimant has proceeded with the trial and closed her case in one of these matters.”

The law firm added that any comment on Ozobeme’s case would be sub judice and “contemptuous of the authority of the court”.

St. Nicholas Hospital said the matter had been reported to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) and presented before a court.

“This case is now sub judice, prohibiting us from any further discussion on the case outside the court of law”, the management explained.