TUC insists court cleared election of new leadership as Buhari greets Osifo
The Trade Union Congress (TUC) insisted its decision to proceed with the 12th Triennial National Delegates Conference was based on the orders of the National Industrial Court, Abuja.
The Congress urged the public to disregard rumours that the labour centre disregarded a court order that purportedly stopped the election that produced Festus Osifo as President.
It said the TUC is a well-known and respected labour centre that believes in the rule of law and will not willfully disregard an order of any court.
It stated that Congress hinged its decision on an order issued by Justice Obaseki Osaghae of NIC Abuja, based on the constitution of TUC.
Indeed, in a Certify True Copy (CTC) of the order dated July 7, 2022, Justice Obaseki Osaghae ordered as follows: “This is a new matter. It is mentioned for the first time today. Upon the agreement of the parties represented by their counsel, Adesina Oke for the claimant, and Emmanuel Ezeh for the defendant.
“The parties are hereby ordered to maintain status quo ante at the National Delegates Conference coming up on July 19 and 20, 2022; specifically, that the conference and elections should be by the provision of the existing constitution. The case is adjourned to October 11, 2022, for hearing of the originating summons.”
Also based on the court order and the request for protection during the conference, a letter from the Inspector General of Police dated July 19, 2022, directed the FCT Commissioner of Police to provide adequate security for the conference.
The letter, which was signed by CP Idowu Owonunwa, the Principal Staff Officer to the IGP said in an unambiguous manner: “The Inspector General of Police directs that you note for necessary action.”
Meanwhile, President Muhammadu Buhari congratulated Festus Osifo and other executives of the congress who were elected at the just concluded delegates conference of TUC, which took place in Abuja.
According to a statement signed by Buhari’s Senior Special Assistant, Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, the President saluted the vision and courage of the dedicated trade unionist, whose election as President of Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association (PENGASSAN) in 2020 has translated into improved welfare and working conditions for workers.
The letter read in part: “President Buhari congratulates the leadership of PENGASSAN and TUC on the historic choice while looking forward to a partnership that will foster more development in the country, particularly for workers.”
In his acceptance speech, the new TUC President, Festus Osifo, who is also the National President of PENGASSAN, promised that he will not take for granted the trust bestowed on him by members.
The President of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), Dr. Tommy Etim Okon emerged as the First Deputy National President, President of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Senior Staff Association (FOBTOB), Jimoh Oyibo was returned as Second Deputy National President, while the President of Road Transport Employers Association (RTEAN), Dr. Musa Mohammed was elected Treasurer among other positions.
Osifo is a Mechanical Engineer and has over 16 years of experience in the oil and gas industry both in Schlumberger Nigeria Ltd and Total Energies Exploration and Production Nigeria Ltd.
Osifo is also a first-class graduate of the University of Portsmouth and an alumnus of the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI).
He holds a master’s degree in petroleum engineering from Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, United Kingdom and is a member of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE), Council of Registered Engineers of Nigeria (COREN) and Society for Petroleum Engineers (SPE).