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

A law firm, Antonio Lex Firma, has threatened to withhold the salaries of its employees if they do not have the permanent voter card (PVC) as part of their civic duty before the 2023 general election.

The nation will go to the polls next year to elect lawmakers (both state and federal), governors and the president.

“I am instructed by Senior Partner Antonio Lex Firma Barr.AK Agbasiere (KSJI) to inform all company staff and house staff that June 9th and 10th, 2022 will be the day without work (sic ),” the Awka-based law firm said in a memo seen by Peoples Gazette. “It’s to allow all the staff to go and register and get their PVC. Therefore, anyone without PVC will now not receive a salary.

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

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

He added, “You are obligated to perform civic duty, otherwise you will be unpatriotic and irresponsible and this may be grounds for administrative punishment.”

Noting that he announced the policy in advance and gave employees time off to comply, Mr Agbasiere said he would bear the cost of their compliance since he would not be making deductions from their wages during the two days the employees would be absent from work.

Meanwhile, the law firm’s no PVC or salary policy has sparked debate, drawing jabs and kudos from different quarters.

In a similar development, the Alaba International Market in Lagos was closed on Thursday so traders could get their PVCs ahead of the 2023 general election.

Famous Nigerian entertainer, 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.