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The court has exclusive jurisdiction in civil causes and matters relating to or connected with any labour, employment, trade unions, industrial relations and matters arising from workplace, the conditions of service, including health, safety, welfare of labour, employee, worker and matter incidental thereto or connected therewith.

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Industrial Court dismisses suit seeking to restrain Uko Iwaudofia, Nzeribe Bloke from parading themselves as Union National Officers


222 Thursday 12th May 2022

The Hon. President of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Benedict Kanyip, Ph.D. has dismissed the case filed by the National Association of Scrap & Waste Dealers Employers of Nigeria and Comrade John Obeh challenging the election that produced Mr. Uko Iwaudofia and Mr. Nzeribe Bloke as National President and General Secretary of the union for lacking merit.

 

Justice Kanyip held that the Union constitution that would have provided the requirements needed to hold a Delegates’ Conference, the qualifications to stand for elective office in the union were not before the court, and no way the Court could determine if the Delegates Conference held on 31 August 2018 at Roop Hotels, Kubwa Abuja is valid as to produce valid National Officers or to restrain Mr. Uko Iwaudofia and Mr. Nzeribe Bloke from parading themselves as the National Officers of the union.

 

Justice Kanyip ruled that the National Association of Scrap & Waste Dealers Employers of Nigeria and Comrade John Obeh have not proved their case to the satisfaction of the Court as to be granted the reliefs prayed for. 

 

From facts, the claimants-  National Association of Scrap & Waste Dealers Employers of Nigeria and Comrade John Obeh had prayed among others for A DECLARATION that the National Officers produced by the Union's National Delegates Conference of 31st August 2018 held at Roop Hotels Limited, Kubwa, Abuja are the authentic National Officers of the Union for the period commencing from 1st September 2018 to 31st August 2022, and AN ORDER restraining Mr. Uko Iwaudofia and Mr. Nzeribe Bloke from parading themselves as the National Officers of the Union.

 

In response, the respondents- Mr. Uko Iwaudofia and Mr. Nzeribe Bloke submitted that the non-payment of the non-refundable fee of One Million Naira (N1,000,000.00) which represents both the expression of interest form and nomination form for the office of the National President of the union by Comrade John Obeh is, in all forms, very fatal to his case that Comrade John Obeh did not stand any election as they are alleging that it was only their election that was validly conducted as the suit asking the Court to declare them as National President and General Secretary of the union is still pending before the court, urged the Court to so hold.

 

In reply, the claimants then urged the Court to discountenance the respondents’ arguments as no competent defence was filed before the court, urged the Court to enter final judgment in their favour.

 

Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the Hon. President of the Court, Hon. Justice Benedict kanyip held that a claimant seeking declaratory reliefs must prove his case on the strength of his evidence, not on the weakness of the defence of the defendant.

 

Justice Kanyip held that the story of the claimants that elections held, from which Comrade John emerged as National President of the union is not sufficient to validate such claim once the governing constitution of the union was not placed before the Court.   


Hon. President stated that no evidence before the Court that Comrade John Obeh paid the said N1 Million as to make him qualified to stand election and evidence of payment of N1 Million into an account cannot be by uncorroborated as the claimants seem to think that the documentary evidence of such payment is the best evidence, which is lacking.


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