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Industrial Court orders Comr. Asuzu, 2 others to vacate offices


768 Monday 5th February 2024

The Hon. President of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Benedict Kanyip, PhD, OFR has ordered Comrade Azubuike Asuzu, Ifeanyi Uzuegbu, and Chika Odoemenam to immediately vacate their offices and hand over all properties of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria in their possession.

 

The Court restrained Azubuike Asuzu, Ifeanyi Uzuegbu and Chika Odoemenam from parading themselves as members of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria so long as they remain expelled from the Union.

 

Justice Kanyip declared that Azubuike Asuzu, Ifeanyi Uzuegbu and Chika Odoemenam having been expelled by the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria are bound to vacate their offices and hand over all the properties of the Union in their possession as listed in Article of the constitution of the union.

 

From facts, the claimant- Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) had submitted that Azubuike Asuzu, Ifeanyi Uzuegbu and Chika Odoemenam were members of the Union and were involved in anti-union activities as a result of which an inquiry was set up and they were invited but refused to appear before the inquiry. 

 

The Union averred that the allegations against Comrade Azubuike Asuzu and 2 others were established, and the union expelled them as its members and directed them to hand over all the properties of the union in their possession, but they refused to do so. 

 

The Union asked for a determination whether upon a proper construction of Article 4(B) (ii) & (iv) of the Amended Constitution of the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria, 2013 the defendants having been served a Letter of Expulsion from the Union can refuse to vacate his office and handover all Union properties in his possession.

 

However, the defendants- Comrade Azubuike Asuzu, Ifeanyi Uzuegbu and Chika Odoemenam failed to defend the suit, and the prayer of the Union to discountenance defence to the summon was upheld by the Court. 

 

In addition, the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) contended that members of the associations, including political parties, are also bound by the provisions of their bye-laws or constitutions, and urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.

 

In a well-considered judgment, the Hon. President of the Court, Hon. Justice Benedict Kanyip held that the fact that Comrade Azubuike Asuzu, Ifeanyi Uzuegbu and Chika Odoemenam did not enter appearance or file any defence process does not absolve RTEAN from proving its case to the satisfaction of the Court.

 

The Court stated that by virtue of Union Article 4(B)(iv)(a) and (b), Comrade Azubuike Asuzu, Ifeanyi Uzuegbu and Chika Odoemenam cannot refuse to vacate their offices and hand over all union properties in their possession once they were expelled. 

 

On the Union’s prayer for a perpetual injunction restraining Comrade Azubuike Asuzu, Ifeanyi Uzuegbu and Chika Odoemenam from parading themselves as members of the union, Justice Kanyip refused the prayer and held that it’s unfair that perpetual injunction signifies that Comrade Azubuike Asuzu and 2 others can no longer even reapply to be taken back in the event of repentance.

 

Visit the judgment portal for full details www.nicnadr.gov.ng/judgement