National Industrial Court adjourns dockworkers’ suit in Port Harcourt
The National Industrial Court in Port Harcourt yesterday adjourned a suit brought by the dockworkers against their employers.The workers had filed the suit against Bua Ports Terminal, and Ports and Terminal Operations Limited.
In two separate suits, they are demanding enhanced emoluments, based on the collective bargaining that the Federal Government had with the companies.According to them, 25 dockworkers had died since the over 700 workforce have not been paid since 2008.
But the court struck out the workers’ application based on some noticeable errors in the suit.At the resumed hearing, the court noted that the new counsel for the claimants, Uche Ogubu, made some errors in the originating process.Ogubu had applied to the court to strike out the second suit based on the observed errors, to enable the claimants’ re-file their claims.
Counsel to the defendants, Angus Chukwuka did not object to the application to strike out the suit.He urged the court to award a cost of over N100, 000 to the defendants for being wrongly stressed in the process.He argued that it is the position of the law that cost should be awarded when an applicant retreats in his case.
Chukwuka said: “When you put somebody into undue defence, there is need to award cost and it is in the law. But, the presiding judge, Justice Hamma Polycarp, granted the prayer of the claimant and struck out the suit.He declined to award the requested cost to the defendants and adjourned till 14th February 14, 2018 for hearing.
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