March 15, 2024

Court restrains NUPENG from holding Port Harcourt Refinery unit election

Court restrains NUPENG from holding Port Harcourt Refinery unit election

…orders Parties To Maintain Status Quo

Justice O.Y. Anuwe of the National Industrial Court, Abuja, has restrained the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) from conducting its planned unit election for the petroleum tanker drivers at the Port Harcourt refinery, which was earlier scheduled to take place on Friday, March 15, 2024.

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) ruling on Wednesday, March 13, 2024 was a result of a suit instituted by the national executives of PTD, including its deputy chairman, Comrade Dayyabu Garga, Comrade Godwin Dele Nwaka, Comrade Peter Muodebelu Chukwudi, Comrade Gambo Tuge, Comrade Walter Ogbeni, Sylvanus Idanwekhai, and other executives of the union, against NUPENG and Afolabi Olawale, standing as defendants.

The Court also warned that all parties must give peace a chance and not preempt the final outcome of the matter.

It further added that the motion on notice should be immediately served on the defendants, stressing that it has been set down for hearing on March 19, 2024.

Delivering judgment on Wednesday, Justice Anuwe held that: “I have heard learned counsel on a motion ex parte, wherein he seeks the order of Court restraining the defendants from conducting elections into various offices of NUPENG PTD Branch on the 15th day of March 2024, amongst other prayers as listed on the face of the motion paper.

“I have read the supporting affidavit, the affidavit of urgency, and indeed, the written address of counsel. At this point, three sisters’ suits are pending before me: NICN/ABJ/290/2023, NICN/ABJ/312/2023,NICN/ABJ/305/2023

“While one of them has been adjourned for judgment, one of them has been adjourned to March 19, 2004 for hearing, while the last one has just been re-assigned to me. All these matters are interrelated, and this pending motion is closely intertwined with the very substance of the pending suits. It is for the above reasons that I will make the following orders: It is ordered as follows:

“Parties are ordered to maintain status quo ante bellum as of February 19, 2024, when the suit no: NICN/ABJ/312/2023 was heard and adjourned for judgment, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on the notice already filed along with this motion. Ex-parte.

“Parties are ordered not to carry out any act that will appear to pre-empt the decision of this court or appear to place this court in a position of hopelessness or helplessness.

“The motion on Notice should be immediately served on the defendants, and it is hereby set-down for hearing on the 19th day of March 2024.

“The order of this court hereby made shall immediately be served on parties and their counsel who are expected to maintain law and order and peace amongst the parties.

“This is the ruling of the Court.

“The case, which was earlier adjourned to March 19, 2024, remains adjourned to that date for hearing of the motion on Notice.”