The Awka Presiding Judge of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice John Targema has nullified all official acts carried out by the Chairman and Secretary, Delta Steel Company Limited Pensioners’ Association Mr. Matthew Akpoteghor and Tony Nwaneri and their executive committee after February 2011 when their tenure elapsed till date, ordered for fresh elections to be conducted in accordance with the union’s Constitution.
The Court held that Matthew Akpoteghor and Tony Nwaneri lack the authority to challenge the case for being filed in a representative capacity.
From facts, the claimants- Dr. Richard O. Obiuwevbi and 3 others filed the case on behalf of themselves and other aggrieved members of the Union had submitted that the tenure of the Matthew Akpoteghor led Executives have elapsed in February 2011 and have continued to be in office without conducting elections or handing over, urged the Court to grant the reliefs sought.
In defence, the chairman stated that Richard Obiuwevbi and others are suspended members of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) Delta Steel Company Branch and did not have the consent of any purported union to initiate the case in a representative capacity that the former Delta Steel Company Limited Pensioners’ Association ceased to exist since 2009 through Court order.
The National Pension Commission maintained that the commission has nothing to do with the election of Association executives or payment of check-off dues to the association as they are internal issues outside the purview of the commission prayed the Court to dismiss the suit.
In opposition, the claimant counsel Okwukwe Iheanacho Esq averred that commission is a necessary party to the suit as their claim would be unenforceable if excluded in the suit urged the Court to hold so in the interest of justice.
Delivering the Judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice John Targema discountenanced the Matthew Akpoteghor assertion that DSCLPA is illegal, and dead for lack of proof and affirmed the competency of the suit being filed in a representative capacity.
“Having held that by their submissions, defendants are not members of DSCLPA with effect from February 2011, it is my determination that all official acts purportedly carried out by the 1st and 2nd defendants’ executive committee of DSCLPA after February 2011 till date are null and void and of no effect. I so hold.” Justice Targema Ruled.