LAGOS State government on Saturday clarified that the order of a National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) issued last week has not dissolved the Musiliu Akinsanya a.k.a MC Oluomo led Lagos State Park Administrators Ad-Hoc Committee on the Operations of Commercial Road Transport Workers activities within garages and motor parks in the state.
It contended that the validity of the Lagos State Park Management Committee was not an issue before the court.
Justice Maureen Esowe of the NICN had last Wednesday ordered the reinstatement of the operations of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in parks in Lagos State.
The RTEAN had instituted the suit 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 union’s operations in the state and setting up a caretaker committee was illegal and unconstitutional.
She held that the government and the Police should have intervened by arresting and prosecuting those behind the fracas and not inquiring 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 remove all barricades it imposed around their secretariat and grant them unfettered access to their offices.
Justice Esowe also dismissed the defendants’ preliminary objections to the suit, saying the matter is straightforward, with no serious dispute to warrant an exchange of pleadings.
Reacting to the judgment yesterday, the Lagos State government gave a clarification in a statement by the Director Public Affairs, Ministry of Justice, titled: “RE: NIC Court Judgment on Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria & Ors v. Governor of Lagos State & Ors”.
It said: “It is on record that what the Lagos State Government set up is known as the Lagos State Park Administrators Ad-Hoc Committee on the Operations of Commercial Road Transport Workers Activities within Garages and Motor Parks and not a Caretaker Committee to run the affairs of the Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) in Lagos State.”
The state noted that several reports had mistakenly attributed to the judgment that the Lagos State Park Management Committee (Committee) had been dissolved.
The statement maintained that “the validity of the Lagos State Park Management Committee was not an issue before the Court and the Committee was not a party to the suit. “The dissolution of the Committee is totally unrelated to the issues before the Court,” the government said.