April 17, 2021
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BY ANDREW OJIEZEL, Lagos

The president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has warned the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) over what he called subversive acts and violations of subsisting court orders.

Wabba, in a statement on Saturday, challenged the electoral apex body over stepping outside the guidelines spelt out by the court over recognition of some people of Labour Party despite the ruling by the court.

“We convey to you our courtesies as well wish to bring to your attention a purported meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of the Labour Party on Monday, March 29, 2021 at Benin at which Messrs Julius Abure and Farouk Ibrahim were said to have been elected Labour Party’s national chairman and secretary respectively and as to urge you not to recognise the meeting or its outcome,” he stressed.

According to Wabba, the said meeting and the election were in clear violation of the party’s constitution which recognises the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) as the platforms of the party.

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He reminded them of that Article 13 (2) (a) has already made provision that the chairpersons of women commissions of  both the NLC and TUC, presidents and general secretaries of the two labour groups as well as the national convention, who are automatic members of that party, but they were surprisingly sidelined in the said meeting.

“However, the issue goes beyond the exclusion as the so-called NEC represents the continuous commission of the subversion of the party and violation of the orders of the court.

“Honourable Justice G.O. Kolawole (now JCA) in the consent of judgement he delivered on March 20, 2018, stated that the Labour Party (though not a trade union) is an institutional political party of the Nigerian workers, founded, funded and promoted by the central labour organisation, the NLC in furtherance of the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in INEC Vs Musa in which the Supreme Court held: “the provisions of section 40 of 1999 Constitution are clear.

Their import is to allow every person, including public office holders and civil servants, the freedom to assemble freely and associate with other persons to form or belong to any political party or trade union or any association for the purpose the protection of his interests. The section has made no exception and there is no proviso therein limiting it’s application to civil servants or public office holders.

“Due to disagreement that culminated in the factionalisation of the party and the setting up of national caretaker committee in 2014, a faction of the party commenced suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/866/214 between Labour Party and Ors Vs Comrade Salisu Mohammed and Ors. After a prolonged legal battle, the parties to the dispute agreed to an amicable settlement complete with terms and conditions which were duly  filed in court,” he explained.

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