The Presiding Judge, Bauchi Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Kenneth Amadi has nullified the Bauchi Chapter Chairmanship election of the National Union Of Road Transport Workers held on 23rd day of October 2019, ordered for a fresh election on or before the 30th November 2020 and to involve Comrade Umar Mohammed as a contestant.
The Court described the conduct of the union in conducting the said election during the pendency of the suit as condemnable, ordered the Divisional Registrar of the Court to obverse the conduct of the new election and file a report thereof.
From facts, the claimant’s - Comrade Umar Mohammed had submitted that prior to the suit he had petitioned the Union but unfortunately the Union took no concrete steps to address his grievances beyond acknowledging receipt of the letter, that in a bid to ensure that he does not have the platform to contest, they scrapped and merged his branch without any justification, that the suspension of his branch chairman was done in utter disregard for the pending suit and even motion for an injunction which had already been served on the union.
Finally, learned counsel Patrick Owoicho Esq urged the Court to direct the union to immediately avail the claimant the nomination form as well as provide him with the necessary platform required to actualize his dream of contesting in a free and fair contest.
In defence, the union submitted that from the time the Union allowed the Claimant to represent them at NLC, he stopped all activities and association with the union and continued his independent activities without the consent and/or consultation of the union and stopped being loyal to the union that membership of the union is not only payment of dues that a member must contribute to the funds of the union regularly and refrain from any action that may bring the union into disrepute.
The union further stated that town service branch 1 was never scrapped nor merged with another branch that the Claimant’s action has been overtaken by events as there are no more elections to be conducted into the State Council and/or office of the State Chairman same haven been conducted and officers were sworn into office on 23rd October 2019.
The Union's Counsel G. E. Kaka Esq maintained that the best the Court can do as rightly pointed out by the Claimant is to intervene and for the court to dismiss the action haven been overtaken by events, and for being frivolous, vexatious and lacking in merit and accord cost to the Defendant.
Delivering the Judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Kenneth Amadi held that any level of school certificate is okay for anyone to contest for the chairmanship position of the union.
“It is important to note that the said election was conducted during the pendency of this suit. The doctrine of lis pendens forbids that parties in an action shall take steps to arm-twist the court or tamper with the res of litigation.
“With the exclusion of the claimant, it cannot be said that an election has been fairly and properly conducted.”