Court stops food union from holding emergency congress


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Lateef Oyelekan

By Henry Ojelu

The National Industrial Court, NIC, sitting in Lagos has granted an ex parte injunction restraining the executives of the National Union of Food, Beverages and Tobacco Employees, UFBTE, from conducting its emergency conference scheduled for Friday, August 21.

No fewer than 30 aggrieved members of the union, including Abiodun Philips and Lawrance Amechi, had dragged the current executives led Lateef Oyelekan before the court over alleged plans to hold an emergency delegates meeting to elongate their tenure for two years.

The aggrieved members also prayed the court to nullify a purported resolution passed at the National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of union held on February 20, 2019, in Abuja, postponing the period for the conduct of elections into various elective positions of union.

Ruling on the ex parte motion filed by the members on August 10, Justice I. J. Essien granted an interlocutory injunction restraining the union from holding its emergency delegate’s conference scheduled for Friday.

In his ruling, Justice Essien said: “I have already held that this court has the jurisdiction to hear and determine this suit since it bothers on the interpretation and application of the constitution of the trade union.

“I have also noted that the notice of the meeting dated July 6, 2020 calling for the emergency National Delegates Conference does not comply with Rule 7(1) of the 18th defendant constitution.

“Also there is a breach of Rule 7 (iii) which requires the agenda for the meeting to be served two weeks before the meeting.

“This is the appropriate case in which the defendants/respondents ought to be restrained until the determination or this suit.

“It is the position of this court that not restraining the defendants/respondents would foist on this court a fait accompli when the court has to determine the issue of the interpretation and application of the constitution of the 18th defendant, which is the subject matter of the originating summons.

“In light of the above, the two prayers sought by motion papers are granted.

“An order of interlocutory injunction is hereby granted restraining the first to 18th defendants/respondents and all other officers of the l8th defendants from conducting or holding the planned emergency delegates conference scheduled for August 21, 2020, the agenda being to ratify the illegal and unconstitutional decision by the first to 17th defendants to postpone the period for conduct of election into all elective offices, particularly the elective offices presently occupied by the first to 11th defendants for two years;

“And to illegally extend the tenure of office of the current elected officers of the l8th defendant, particularly that of the first to 11th defendants, contrary to the provisions of the constitution of the l8th defendant, pending the hearing and determination of this suit.”


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Source: Vanguard News

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