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Affiliates ask police to stop TUC delegates’ conference

By Joseph Onyekwere
18 July 2022   |   4:31 am
Ten affiliates of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have charged Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, to enforce order of the National Industrial Court, restraining the Labour centre....

IGP Usman Alkali Baba. Photo/POLICENG

Ten affiliates of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC) have charged Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Alkali Baba, to enforce order of the National Industrial Court, restraining the Labour centre from holding its 12th Triennial Delegates’ Conference.

The unions, which made the demand in a petition by their counsel, Timothy Adewale, claimed that TUC had concluded plans to go ahead with the event scheduled for July 19 and 20.

They also maintained in the correspondence, dated July 15, that unless the police intervene, the action of TUC leadership “is capable of destabilising public peace, especially given the volatile nature of inter-labour union disputes.”

Justice Rabiu Gwandu of the NIC, Lagos, on July 6, 2022, restrained TUC from holding or taking further steps in conducting elections for president and other national positions pending hearing and determination of a suit filed by the affiliated unions.

The judge granted the interlocutory order after entertaining the suit filed by the 10 senior staff unions over alleged refusal of the current TUC leadership to implement a resolution on succession agreed at their conference.

They, therefore, urged the IGP to urgently stop the holding of the event in line with the court order. The petitioners also argued that, “it is a settled principle of law that every party to a suit, and indeed every citizen, must obey a subsisting court decision or order in a suit unless and until it is set aside.”

They continued: “So long as the order exists, it must be obeyed to the letter. An order or judgment of court remains legally binding and valid until set aside by due process of law

“Your esteemed office like all citizens of this country cannot be a passive onlooker when any person attempts to subvert the administration of justice and should not hesitate to use the powers available to it to preserve the breakdown of law and order in the society.

“Obedience to the rule of law by all citizens, but more particularly those who publicly took the oath of office to protect and preserve the constitution, is a desideratum to good governance and respect for the rule of law. In a democratic society, this is meant to be a norm. We urge you to act in this regard sir.”

The petitioners insisted that the force would be acting in the public interest and also preventing a major national crisis within the labour circle if it stops the conference.

The petition was copied to Vice President Yemi OsinbaJo, Minister of Labour and Employment, Director-General of Department of State Services (DSS) and Registrar of Trade Unions.

The petitioners include Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions (ASSBIFI), Pulp Paper and Paper Products Printing and Publishing Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PPAPPPAPSSAN), Nigeria Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association (NMNO/WTSSA), Senior Staff Association of Shipping Clearing and Forwarding Agencies, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATTSSSAN), Precision, Electrical and Related Equipment Senior Staff Association (PERESSA) and Shop and Distributive Trade Senior Staff Association (SHOPDIS).

Others are Textile Garment and Tailoring Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (TGTSSAN), Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI) and Automobile, Boatyard, Transport, Equipment and Allied Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (AUTOBATE).