By Innocent Anaba

ABUJA—No fewer than 10 affiliated unions of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC, have urged the Inspector General of Police, Mr. Alkali Usman to enforce the order of the National Industrial Court, which restrained the TUC from holding its 12th Triennial Delegates’ Conference, slated for Abuja.

The unions in a petition by their lawyer, Timothy Adewale, alleged that the TUC has concluded plans to go ahead with the delegates’ conference scheduled for July 19 and 20, 2022, despite the subsisting order of the court.

They also maintained that unless the police intervene, the action of the leadership of the TUC was capable of destabilizing public peace especially given the volatile nature of inter-labour union disputes. 

Justice Rabiu Gwandu of the National Industrial Court 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 determination of a suit filed by the affiliated unions. 

The court made the order after hearing the suit 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.

But in their petition, the affiliated unions said that the TUC had allegedly decided to ignore the order without taking steps to set it aside.

They urged the IGP to urgently stop and prevent the holding of the TUC Conference in line with the court order as they would not fold their hands and allow the conference to hold.

They said: “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 petitioners stated.”

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.

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