Court Reserves Judgement On ASSFIBI Vs TUC Matter
The National Industrial Court (NIC), sitting in Lagos, on Monday reserved for judgement the suit filed by the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) and nine others against Trade Union Congress, TUC.
The presiding judge, Justice Rabi Gwandu adjourned for judgement following the adoption of written addresses on the main originating summon and the counter responses which was adopted by all parties.
The judge at the last sitting frowned at the flagrant disobedience of her order, which restrained Trade Union Congress (TUC) from holding its 12th triennial delegates’ conference pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit before the court.
At the resume of the matter yesterday, Claimants’ counsel, Timothy Adewale moved a pending motion filed against the defendants over disobedience of the order made by the court while he also asked the court to commit the TUC President and Secretary General to prison for their failure and disobedience of court which restrained Trade Union Congress (TUC) from holding its 12th triennial delegates’ conference pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit before the court.
The Claimant’s counsel further referred the to a video evidence where the resolution came up in 2019 conference.
After the motion on the originating summon was moved before the court, and the counter response which was adopted by all taken, the judge adjourned for judgement.
Justice Gwandu thereafter informed the lawyers that the date for the judgement will be communicated to all the parties at a latter date.
Recalled that the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI) and nine other associations had filed a suit against the TUC.
The claimants, in their originating summons, had prayed the court to declare that by virtue of the agreements and resolutions reached and ratified at the 11th triennial delegates’ conference of the defendant held on June 28, 2019, at NAF Centre, Abuja, the 1st claimant (ASSBIFI) should produce the next president of the TUC for the year 2022 to 2025.
The claimants also asked for an order, mandating and compelling the defendant to immediately enable the 1st claimant to produce and assume the office of the president of the defendant, in line with the agreement and resolutions reached and ratified at the 11th triennial delegates’ conference in Abuja.
The application is supported by a 27-paragraph affidavit deposed to by the general secretary of the Pulp Paper and Paper Products Printing and Publishing Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PPAPPPAPSSAN), Benedict Ikegbulam.
He swore that sometimes in 2019, due to the leadership imbroglio and the intricate nature of the situation around the presidency of the TUC, members of the defendant, during its triennial delegates’ conference, constituted an electoral committee chaired by Comrade Augustine Etafo of Construction and Engineering Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and also a deputy president of the Congress to work out modalities for elections into TUC, as a way of resolving the imbroglio and saving the defendant from collapse.
He averred: “That the electoral committee, after the national officers’ position were harmonised with the approval of the National Executive Council of the defendant recommended to the defendant the following order of presidency of the defendant to prevent rancour or internal crisis:
“That Food, Beverages and Tobacco Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (FOBTOB) take the position of TUC president in 2019 to 2022. That ASSBIFI take the position of TUC president in 2022 to 2025, and after the tenure of ASSBIFI, the position of the president shall be open to all members to contest, and that these recommendations were approved and ratified.
“The claimants were, however, surprised that the defendant, in preparations for the 12th triennial delegates’ conference, published a special notice, dated February 8, 2022, for positions to be contested (2022 to 2025) at the conference to include the office of the president of the TUC without any regard to the aforementioned motions adopted, ratified and already being implemented.”