By Innocent Anaba, LAGOS
Justice Rabi Gwandu of the National Industrial Court, NIC, sitting in Lagos, yesterday, frowned at the disobedience of her order, which restrained Trade Union Congress, TUC, from holding its 12th triennial delegates’ conference pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit before the court.
The judge, who scolded lawyers and parties that were involved, warned that disobedience of court erodes confidence in the system and failure to check it will breed anarchy.
The court had at the last sitting restrained TUC from holding its 12th triennial delegates’ conference or taking any further steps to hold it, but the Union went ahead with the conference on July 19, and 20, 2022.
Justice Gwandu made the order in a suit by the Association of Senior Staff of Banks, Insurance and Financial Institutions, ASSBIFI, and nine other associations against the TUC.
However, TUC claimed that the decision to hold the conference was hinged on another court order of Justice Obaseki Osaghae of NIC in Abuja.
When the matter came up yesterday, claimants’ counsel, Timothy Adewale, informed the court of the disobedience of the order made by the court and that he has filed an application for contempt against the defendants.
According to him, the order of the court stopping the defendants from holding the conference or doing anything whatsoever on the subject matter of this case until the determination of the substantive suit was clear and unambiguous.
He said he was shocked that despite the court order, the defendants went ahead to hold the conference in violation of the court order.
However, counsel to TUC, Ambassador Sola Iji, told the court that TUC decision to proceed with the 12th Triennial National Delegates Conference was based on an order by the National Industrial Court, Abuja.
However, Justic Gwandu said that she would get to the roots of the matter and adjourned the suit till August 24, to rule on applications of those that have applied to be joined as parties in the suit.