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Court Affirms Baruwa As NURTW President

The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, has settled the leadership crisis of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), affirming Alhaji Tajudeen Ibikunle Baruwa, as the validly elected President of the Union for the second term.

The court sacked the Alhaji Tajudeen Agbede’s led Chairman Caretaker Committee.

Justice Otebola Oyewumi of the court also restrained forthwith the former President of the union, Comrade Najeem Usman Yasin, who was also the Chairman Board of Trustees from interfering in the day-to-day running of the union.

The Court held that Yasin can only act as the Board chairman of the transport union.

Unholding the victory of Baruwa in the disputed election, Justice Oyewumi held that the Zonal Delegates Conference across the six zonal councils of the union held on 24th May, 2023 where Baruwa emerged as President for a second term in office was valid.

The court also validated the Quadrennial National Delegate Conference held on August 23rd 2023 at Ta’aL Hotels Lafia Nasarawa State where the President and other national officers emerged and inaugurated.

Justuce Oyewumi further declared as illegal, null, void and unconstitutional, the national delegates conference held on 25th October, 2023 where the so-called Acting President of the union, Alhaji Isa Ore and his National Administrative Council were said to have emerged.

She ruled that there was no evidence of crisis in the union, therefore there was no basis for the invocation of ‘doctrine of necessity’ which led to the constitution of the so-called Caretaker Committee.

Recall that that the Lagos State Park Management Committee led by Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly known as MC Oluomo, on August 28, 2023 forcefully took over the secretariat of the union located at Garki 2 in Abuja after a violent attack on the national officers and staff despite the presence of the armed security agents deployed to guard the premises.

Baruwa was arrested on September 13, 2023 alongside four other national officers of the union by the police and detained at the former facility of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in Abuja

The situation forced the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to issue a 48-hour ultimatum for the police to vacate the secretariat of the union.

In a communiqué signed by NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja, the union threatened it would muster all its affiliates for a showdown in support of what it described as the legally elected NURTW leadership.

The NLC accused the Nigeria Police of interfering in the internal affairs of NURTW and other unions, saying the the Force had usurped powers of arbitration in disputes in contradiction to the dictates of statutes governing industrial relations.

It alleged that the Inspector General of Police acquiesced to invasion of the NURTW national secretariat to unseat the elected leadership and install a stooge.

The labour union then affirmed the legality of the Baruwa-led leadership, warning that moves to upturn governance of the transport union could lead to violence.

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