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 Okays Ondo Governor Action, rules Motor Park Management Committee only for Public Parks

535 Tuesday 5th July 2022

The Presiding Judge of Akure Judicial division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Kiyersohot Damulak has dismissed the case filed by NURTW against the Ondo State Governor in its entirety for devoid of merit.

The Court held that there is no material deposition as to why the NURTW is unable to conduct its elections except for the fact of internal crisis, that the action of the Governor is in the right direction as motor parks are public places relating to the movement of goods and persons and disruption of peace in those places will be a disruption of the state economy and possible loss of lives of citizens which the Governor has a constitutional duty to protect. 

Justice Damulak held that the activities of the NURTW were suspended only in the public motor parks in the state, that the contention that the operation of the motor park management committee set up by the governor was to extend to all parks operated by NURTW members in Ondo state does not flow from the content of the press release by the government.

From facts, the applicants- NURTW and 2 others had asked for a determination whether the decision of the 1st Respondent in appointing the 2nd Respondent- Mr. Jacob Adebo and other members into a committee called Park Management Committee is not an interference and undue intrusion into the affairs of the Union among others.

The applicants averred that the decision of the Ondo State Governor which appointed Mr. Jacob Adebo as Chairman of the Park Management Committee is in conflict with the constitutional duties and affairs of the Applicants where they both equally belong. 

The applicants' counsel further argued that his clients have their privately owned parks in the State different from the government/public parks and no provision in either the Trade Unions Act or the Applicants• allows for or accommodates any committee known as Park Management Committee, urged the Court to grant the reliefs sought.

In Defense, the 1st respondent- Governor of Ondo State submitted that there was a power tussle between Mr. Jacob Adebo and one other which has brought about a prolonged dispute within the Union that is now threatening the peace of the State that the suspension of the activities of the Union is to prevent the breakdown of law and order and put in place the Park Management Committee to oversee the parks pending when the Union resolves their lingering crisis that is threatening the peace of the entire State. 

The 2nd respondent- Mr. Jacob Adebo submitted that the park management Committee was not set by the 1st Respondent to unionize the professional drivers in Ondo State but to manage the motor parks in the state in order to secure orderliness and peace in Ondo State, and objected to the jurisdiction of the court on the ground that there is the issue of ownership of land being used for motor parks and the court has no jurisdiction on matters of title to land. 

Delivering the judgment, the presiding Judge, Justice Kiyersohot Damulak affirmed the jurisdiction of the Court and held that there is no dispute over the land title in the case as no prayer for a declaration of ownership of any park.

“The suspension of the activities of the 1st applicant in Public Motor Parks, rightly in my view, is not being challenged. It has not been shown how the appointment of the motor park management committee by the 1st respondent interferes with the functions of the 1st applicant or how the suspension of the activities of the 1st applicant in public motor parks will stop the NURTW from conducting its elections or engaging in the commercial transportation business. 

“It is the Union activities that are suspended in public motor parks in the state, not the business of the members of the Union, neither are the activities of the Union suspended in private motor parks in the state.” Justice Damulak ruled.


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