A Nigerian based in Perth Australia, is claiming $80,000 in damages from Uber, the global ride sharing service, for deactivating his account without warning.
Uber charges back that that the Nigerian has been accused of driving while tired, speeding and leaving passengers at the wrong destination.
Nigerian-born Mike Oze-Igiehon said he only discovered he had been sacked as a driver when he was unable to log into his account one day last November, reported The West Australian.
The 40-year-old accused Uber of deactivating his account with no notice or explanation, based on a couple of passenger complaints he was not told about and the truth of which he disputes.
Mr Oze-Igiehon does not have a lawyer and is representing himself against Silicon Valley-based Uber and Dutch-based Uber holding company Rasier Operations, which had three lawyers in the District Court of Western Australia on Thursday.
Uber’s lawyer, Alan Hershowitz, said Mr Oze-Igiehon was being untruthful and had been told about multiple complaints against him.
One passenger complained Mr Oze-Igiehon sped 10km/h over the speed limit, another said he was falling asleep behind the while while a third passenger said he was dropped off at the wrong airport terminal.
The company argues Mr Oze-Igiehon was taken off the Uber platform because of multiple safety-related complaints made by passengers.
Mr Oze-Igiehon became angry when Mr Hershowitz provided evidence of his work history, including that he had been sacked from his previous job as a security officer with Wilson Security.
The 40-year-old had claimed he quit his job with Wilson because he saw a career with Uber.
Mr Oze-Igiehon also admitted sending a letter last week to a woman who works for Wilson Security and who had taken photos of him asleep while working and was due to give evidence in the case.
Mr Hershowitz described the letter, which warned her about taking legal action, as threatening.
Mr Oze-Igiehon accused the company of imposing one-sided contracts on drivers, taking no responsibility for their safety and training and exploiting them while ignoring Australian workplace laws.
‘Uber deactivated my account – `bing’ – and I was off the grid with no warning,’ he told Judge Julie Wager.
‘I am speaking on behalf of hundreds of Uber drivers who can’t express their frustrations about their unfavourable working conditions.
‘Uber has total control of drivers. They suspend drivers’ accounts for refusing to take jobs, they change fees and contracts without notice and breach their own terms and conditions.’
Uber has rapidly grown in popularity in Perth in the past year – as it has globally – while taxi drivers’ business has suffered as a result.
Mr Oze-Igiehon is seeking unspecified damages, but has previously claimed he is bankrupt after taking out $80,000 in car loans that he now cannot meet.
*Originally published by Daily Mail and The Australian