The Presiding Judge, Abuja Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Ayodele Obaseki-Osaghae has nullified the appointment and swearing-in of Bashiru Sansowo, Moses Alexander, and Lateef Feelfine or any other person(s) as branch executives of the National Union of Road Transport Workers Long Journey Branch 2, Jabi Central Motor Park, Jabi Abuja.
The Court further granted an order of injunction restraining Bashiru Sansowo and 2 others or any other persons not elected into the office from parading themselves as Branch Executives of the Union; ordered the FCT Chapter Union to comply with the provisions of the constitution in effecting changes in the leadership of the branch union through an election, not selection or handpicking.
From fact, the claimant- Comrade Gbenga Owolabi an aggrieved union member had submitted that by convention, the tenure of all States and Branches of the union automatically ends following the swearing-in of the newly elected president in August 2019 that rather than conducting an election to fill the vacancies in the Branch, the branch union handpicked Bashiru Sansowo and 2 others as executives of without conducting an election.
However, the defendants’- Branch Union and the purported executives were served with the court processes but failed to enter a formal appearance or file any process in opposition even though at the proceedings of 9th February 2021 all of them were represented by Counsel.
In addition, Gbenga’s Counsel, Moses A. Awuru Esq averred that the NURTW constitution provides that vacancies can only be filled by election and not by appointment or endorsement, urged the court to grant the reliefs sought in the interest of justice.
Delivering the judgment via virtual, the presiding Judge, Justice Obaseki-Osaghae held that Gbenga Owolabi being a financial member of the NURTW as seen in the exhibit has a right to contest for any of the elective positions of the Branch and the unchallenged evidence is that the State Council failed to conduct elections into the Jabi Long Journey Branch 2, Utako District Abuja Branch of the NURTW.
Justice Obaseki declared that the actions of the defendants are in violation of the constitution of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) by handpicking and appointing Bashiru Sansowo and 2 others to occupy elective positions.
Lastly, the Court awarded the costs of N100,000.00 in favour of Comrade Gbenga Owolabi (Aka Olope).