The Presiding Judge of Benin Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Honourable Justice Adunola Adewemimo has declared as an academic exercise the suit filed by the former unit head of Fitters Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (FISSAN) Okpe/Sapele Unit, Shedrack Governor against the union for being stale.
Justice Adewemimo held that the office from which the Shedrack claimed he was suspended was no longer existent, having instituted the case outside his tenure of office, making it decayed and unsustainable for the court to delve into.
From facts, the claimant- Shedrack Governor had submitted that he was accused of alleged misconduct along with members of his Executive council which he denied the allegation but got suspended by the State Secretary of the 1st defendant on the 9th of January, 2020.
He submitted further that while awaiting the result of his appeal, and upon being made aware that members of the state executive council were taking steps to remove him from office, he commenced the action against the union and urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.
In defense, Fitters Senior Staff Association of Nigeria maintained that Shedrack sent his appeal to the Zonal Chairman of FISSAN instead of National Delegates Congress as provided in the union constitution, and the national body did not give any order that status quo be maintained.
The defendant counsel, Victor Anne Esq. with E.O. Eghwere Esq. averred amongst others that Shedrack’s case as presently constituted has been overtaken by events and other intervening circumstances, added that Shedrack’s tenure ended in March 2020 and he filed the case after his tenure has elapsed, urged the court to dismiss the case in its entirety with punitive cost.
In opposition, Shedrack’s counsel, Emmanuel Onoriode Esq urged the court to discountenance the union’s submission and prayed the Court to grant the reliefs sought in the interest of justice.
Delivering the judgment after careful perusal of the submissions of both parties, the presiding judge, Justice Adunola Adewemimo held that Shadrack is within his rights in initiating the suit, having perceived that his appeal was not yielding any result and the union was taking further steps against his perceived legal rights.
“A look at the originating process in this suit reveals that the claimant initiated this suit on the 12th of October, 2020, after his tenure had expired, and as at that time he was no longer in office.
“Therefore, by effluxion of time, the claim to the office was non-existent, and having in mind that the entire cause of action in this suit revolves around his continuous leadership of the Okpe/Sapele Unit of the 1st defendant, the fact that his tenure has expired makes this suit purely academic as the reliefs he is seeking are no longer sustainable.” Justice Adewemimo ruled.