Ten affiliated unions of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, have urged the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Usman Alkali Baba, to enforce the order of the National Industrial Court, NIC, which restrained the Congress from holding its 12th Triennial Delegates’ Conference.
Making the demand in a petition written on their behalf by their lawyer, Timothy Adewale, the unions alleged that the TUC have concluded plans to go ahead with the Delegates’ Conference scheduled for July 19 and 20, 2022 despite the subsisting order of the court.
The unions also maintained in the petition, dated July 15, 2022, that unless the police intervene, the action of the leadership of the TUC is capable of destabilizing public peace, especially given the volatile nature of inter-labour union disputes.
Recall that Justice Rabiu Gwandu of the NIC, sitting in Lagos had on July 6, 2022, stopped the TUC from holding or taking further steps to hold and conduct elections for the position of President and other national positions pending the hearing and the determination of a suit filed by the affiliated unions.
The judge had granted the interlocutory orders after entertaining the suit filed by the 10 senior staff unions over the alleged refusal of the current leadership of the TUC to implement a resolution on succession agreed on at the last Triennial Delegates’ Conference.
In their petition, the affiliated unions claimed that the TUC had allegedly decided to ignore the court order without taking steps to set it aside.
They, therefore, urged the IGP to urgently stop and prevent the holding of the TUC Conference in line with the court order, as they will not fold their hands and allow the conference to hold.The petitioners also argued that “it is a settled principle of law that every party to a suit, and indeed every citizen, must obey the subsisting court decision or order in a suit unless and until it is set aside.
“So long as the order exists, it must be obeyed to the letter. An order or a 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 affiliated unions also insisted that the police would be acting in the public interest and would also be preventing a major national crisis within the labor circle if it stopped the Delegates Conference.
The petition was copied to the Vice President of Nigeria, the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Director General, the Department of State Services, DSS, and the Registrar of Trade Unions.
The petitioners are: the 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.Others are: the Senior Staff Association of Shipping Clearing and Forwarding Agencies, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATTSSSAN; the Precision, Electrical and Related Equipment Senior Staff Association, PERESSA; and the Shop and Distributive Trade Senior Staff Association, SHOPDIS.
They also included: the Textile Garment and Tailoring Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, TGTSSAN; the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions, SSAUTHRIAI; and the Automobile, Boatyard, Transport, Equipment and Allied Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, AUTOBATE.