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Workers sue Imo govt over lease of transport company

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BY CHIDI NKWOPARA

OWERRI—Aggrieved staff of Imo Transport Company, ITC, have dragged the state government to the Federal High Court sitting in Owerri, over wrongful lease of the company to a private firm.

The workers, who are acting under the umbrella of Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees, AUPCTRE, also named the state governor, the state Attorney General, ITC and Global Ginikana Services Limited as respondents in the suit.

The aggrieved ITC workers urged the court to determine if Governor Rochas Okorocha (the third defendant), by himself or through any officer of Imo State government, have the power or competence to interfere in the affairs, management or administration of ITC, following the provisions of Section 37 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.

The workers equally prayed the Federal High Court to determine if the management lease agreement executed November 4, 2011, between Ginikana and the state government did not compromise the corporate personality of ITC as guaranteed by Section 37 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act.

They urged the court to hold that if it found that the lease agreement ran counter to Section 37 of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, it should declare it unlawful, illegal, null, void and of no effect whatsoever.

Apart from praying the court to declare the lease agreement unlawful, null and void, the angry workers also sought an order of court setting aside the lease agreement, as well as restraining the defendants, servants and privies from continuing to use, rely or give effect to the said agreement.

Meanwhile, the court has given the defendants 30 days from the date of service, to cause an appearance to be entered for them in the matter.

Vanguard recalls that  there had been a running battle between the state government and the transport workers over the leasing of the company to a private operator.

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