The National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Lagos has declared the Lagos Parks and Garages Committee established by the Lagos State government ‘illegal’.
The court also ordered the reinstatement of the operations of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in Lagos State which had earlier been banned by the state government.
RTEAN instituted the suit with ID number: 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.
In her judgment, Justice Maureen Esowe, held that the act of the Lagos State government in suspending the national unions operations in the state and setting up a caretaker committee is illegal and against the provisions of Sections 4 (1), (2)& (3), and 5 (1) &(3), read along with item 34 of the exclusive legislative list, of the 1999 Constitution, as amended.
She held that the government and the Police should have intervened by arresting and prosecuting those behind the fracas and not to inquire into the dispute.
The court also restrained the state government from further interfering with the operations of the union’s exco.
The court ordered the police to refrain from intimidating the union’ s officers and to remove all barricades it imposed around their secretariat and to grant them unfettered Access to their offices.
The judge also dismissed the defendants’ preliminary objections to the suit, saying the matter is straight forward which the Court has jurisdiction to hear and determine, with no serious dispute to warrant an exchange of pleadings.