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.



Industrial Court Strikes Out Suit against FRSC Boss, 3 others for being incompetent

298 Thursday 17th November 2022

The Presiding Judge, Calabar Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Sanusi Kado has struck out the case filed by Victor Umoh and 3 others against the Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of Federal Road Safety Corps and 3 others for being incompetent.

Justice Kado ruled that in the absence of valid pre-action notice served on Corps Marshal and Chief Executive of Federal Road Safety Corps and 3 others, the suit is incompetent due to non-fulfillment of condition precedent by the Federal Road Safety Act and the jurisdiction of the Court cannot be activated.

Justice Kado while affirming the jurisdiction of the Court to hear and determine employment matters, held that the exercise of the jurisdiction of the Court will depend on the fulfillment of all conditions precedent to exercising the jurisdiction.

From facts, the defendants/applicants-  Corps Marshal and Chief Executive Federal Road Safety Corps and 3 others had via a motion sought for an order of the Court to dismiss the suit for lack of the jurisdiction to entertain same and for being incompetent, on the grounds that the claimant failed to comply with the mandatory statutory provisions of the Federal Road Safety (Establishment) Act 2007 by first giving defendants/applicants pre-action notice and the matter was instituted against the FRSC National Headquarters, Abuja and the Zonal Commanding Officer Port-Harcourt who are unknown to law.

The learned Counsel to the defendants urged the court to hold that Victor Umoh and 3 others' action is incompetent for being brought against improper parties.

In opposition, the learned counsel to the applicants maintained that the suit is not incompetent, premature, or in abuse of court and that the former counsel that initially filed the suit served pre-action notice but did not file a copy at the time the complaint was filed, and upon taking over the case, the complaint amended the said processes and ensured that it was properly before the court, urged the court to grant the application.

Delivering the ruling after careful analysis of the submission of both parties, the Presiding Judge, Justice Sanusi Kado held that the 2nd and 3rd defendants -FRSC National Headquarters, Abuja, and the Zonal Commanding Officer Port-Harcourt are not juristic persons that can sue or be sued, and their names were struck out of the suit due to lack of legal personality to sue or be sued.

“However, it must be understood that this does not mean this Court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine this suit, what it means by this holding is that the jurisdiction of this Court will only be exercised on compliance with giving of pre-action notice. 

"The non-service of a pre-action notice merely put on holds pending compliance with the preconditions. It is a temporary denial of access to Court. It is clear from the above provision of the law that for the Claimant to maintain a valid action he must comply with this section of the law." Justice Kado ruled.

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