The Lagos State Parks and Garages Management Committee led by Musiliu Akinsanya popularly known as MC Oluomo has been sacked by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).
The court in a ruling on Tuesday by Justice Maureen Esowe held that the setting up of a parks and management committee by the Lagos State government is illegal. The court in its ruling also barred the state government from further interfering in the operations of the union’s exco.
It also ordered the reinstatement of the operations of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in Lagos State.
According to Justice Esowe, the state government and the Police should have intervened by arresting and prosecuting those behind any fracas purportedly involving union members and not inquiring into the dispute.
Furthermore, the Judge ordered the police to refrain from intimidating the RTEAN officers, remove all barricades it imposed around their secretariat and grant them unfettered access to their offices.
A preliminary objection to the suit from the defendants was struck out by the court as it ruled that the matter was straightforward, with no serious dispute to warrant an exchange of pleadings.
Naija News understands RTEAN instituted the suit marked NICN/LA/381/2022, in October 2022 to challenge the Lagos State government for allegedly dissolving the elected executive committee of the union in the state and appointing a caretaker body, known as the Parks and Garages Administrators, headed by MC Oluomo.
The defendants in the case are the Lagos State Governor, the Attorney-General of the state, Moyosore Onigbanjo, and the Special Adviser to the governor on transportation, Sola Giwa.
The 4th-37th defendants are the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State, and all the members of the caretaker committee.
In January, the union through its counsel, Elisha Kurah (SAN) argued that a state cannot interfere in the affairs of a trade union registered under the Trade Unions Act of 2004 as such matters are expected to be handled by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment.
However, the counsel for the state government, Adebayo Haroun contended that the government neither violated the law nor dissolved the national body’s operations in the state, but had sought to maintain law and order by creating the ad-hoc committee when violence ensued between the unions.
On his part, the counsel for the 5th to the 37th defendants, Taiwo Kupolati (SAN), said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had the power to maintain peace in the land.
According to him, “There was a crisis and the governor exercised his authority as the Chief Security Officer of the state and put up a committee to be in charge of garages for peace to reign.”