Court adjourns PENGASSAN suit to Feb. 19

The National Industrial Court on Tuesday in Lagos adjourned till Feb. 19, 2015, a suit against the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) over breach of rights.

Others joined in the suit are the Chevron Branch of PENGASSAN; one Frank Esanubi and Kio Ayanate.

Two claimants, John Nwanosike and Jonathan Omare, members of the Chevron Branch of PENGASSAN, had instituted the suit against the respondents for alleged breach of their rights.

The claimants are seeking an order, restraining the respondents from holding any delegates’ conference, pending the determination of the suit.

Justice Kenneth Amadi, adjourned the case till Feb. 19, following Festus Aifeyodion, the claimant’s counsel, informing the court of the amendment of his client’s originating motion.

Aifeyodion asked the leave of court to regularise same
Amadi, therefore, granted the prayer and adjourned the suit to Feb. 19, 2015 for hearing.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that in their affidavit, the claimants averred that they were duly elected delegates to the PENGASSAN conference, adding that their tenure was valid for a term of three years.

They averred that the respondents canceled their names as delegates, before the expiration of their tenure, thereby denying them the right to vote and be voted for at the conference.

According to them, as duly elected members of the association, their tenure subsisted for three years and has yet to lapse.

The claimants averred that in a bid to prevent them from exercising their franchise, the second and third defendants set up a disciplinary committee to try them after they expressed the fear that their rights were being trampled.

They said that the panel declared them guilty even when there was no evidence against them, as to the commission of any offence.
The claimants, therefore, seek a declaration that the removal of their names as delegates to the zonal conference and national conference was unconstitutional.

They also seek an order, mandating the defendants to include their names as delegates and an order of perpetual injunction, restraining them from holding the conference until the illegality occasioned by their removal was redressed.

Amadi had on June 23 issued an interim order restraining PENGASSAN from holding its conference until the suit was determined.

The claimants had first commenced the suit before a Federal High Court in Lagos, but had had to file a notice of discontinuance, following an objection raised by the respondents.

The respondents had challenged the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court to hear the suit, which they claim was labour related

Consequently, the claimants instituted a fresh suit before the NIC, by way of ex-parte application, seeking similar reliefs.

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