*Police, DSS arrest Adeyanju’s tugs
*”A threat to life and properties”- stakeholders
In what appears to be a vindication of MMS Plus report on the simmering crisis in the Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria(MWUN) over the forthcoming special National Delegate Conference(NDC) in Uyo, next month, the Federal High Court, Lagos, last week, granted an order of perpetual injunction restraining the President General of the Union, Comrade Tony Nted from conducting the Union’s election with any other constitution order than the existing one.
The court in a suit no.FHL/L/CS/202/17, equally restrained the Registrar of Trade Unions, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mrs. Nwanyieze Mbogu, who was joined as co-defendant, from gazetting or approving the amendment of the Union’s constitution.
Other declarations were:” That the procedure adopted in the purported amendment of the union’s constitution is ultra-vires, (and) the provisions of rules 5(iii) of the extant constitution renders the results of the purported amendment, a nullity ; That the amendment of rule 12(i) (a) in pages 10-12 of the purported draft is incompetent in the sense that it did not meet the conditions stipulated under 12(i)(b); That the purported amendment in rule 40A of the draft introducing rotational presidency but suspending its enforcement till 2025 in a situation where the incumbent president general had served his maximum two terms is absurd and smacks off bad faith”.
According to the originating summons made available to MMS Plus, these were part of the relieves granted, the plaintiff, Comrade Sunday Osho, an aggrieved member of the MWUN. Comrade Osho, through his attorney, Okwudili Alagbu & Co. asserted that the Ist defendant, Comrade Nted, “ in pursuit of his self-serving plan of imposing a crony successor as the president general of the union, contrived a draft of the purported amendment of the union’s constitution and despite the fact that the purported draft was not ratified by the National Executive Committee(NEC) of the union, he presented to the 2nd defendant for administrative approval and irrespective of a strongly-worded petition to the Honourable Minister of Labour in this regard, which was copied the 2nd defendant, she is hell- bent on approving the purported draft regardless of its negative implication on the stability of the union and the maritime industry in general”.
Consequently, the plaintiff wanted the court to determine whether the balance of convenience is not in favour of conducting the forthcoming general elections with the extant union’s constitution as well as whether the creation of new districts in pages 10-12 of the draft which is the purported amendment of rule 12(1)(a) of the extant constitution met the condition for the creation of new districts as stipulated under rule 12(1)(b) of the constitution.
A copy of the draft amended constitution sighted by MMS Plus showed that Nted created additional 11 districts with 5 from his constituency, dockworkers to bring the total of districts to 48, which gave his constituency more delegates for the forthcoming election.
The court order, operators have said is a vindication of the MMS plus, which had in January this year published a report titled: Crisis Brews At Ports As Nted Foists Candidate On MWUN, for which Nted called a media conference to describe as “defamation of character”and consequently directed his solicitors to write and seek redress.
However, it became obvious afterwards that Nted hid the true picture of developments in the MWUN from the media that attended the briefing, where he also used the opportunity to say, “ I will deal with MMS Plus”. Many industry observers who heard this concluded it was a threat to life and properties.
Nted had denied through his solicitors that “The Union operates by its constitution which guides all its campaign and election processes and the said procedure laid down by the union’s constitution is being adhered to in the forthcoming election. Your publication that our client plans to manipulate the election, deny rightful persons of their rights, and cause or perpetuate violence is distasteful, false, and calculated to tarnish our client’s image and hard earned reputation”.
While it has been observed that the court injunction was obtained on the basis of the material facts MMS plus used for its publication, some loyal tugs of the incumbent president general went on rampage last week destroying all the pasted posters of one of the presidential aspirants, Comrade Dahiru Abubakar, a Deputy President of MWUN.
According to one of Dahiru’s aides, “we pasted our candidate’s posters and banners within Apapa on Sunday two weeks ago at about 5am and 20 minutes later the entire campaign materials were destroyed by some tugs. They even used Comrade Adewale Adeyanju’s posters to cover some of our own”. Adeyanju is Nted’s, crony and candidate for the election.
Following this, Comrade Dahiru sought the intervention of the Police and officers of the Department of Security Service(DSS) who rounded up some of the tugs and Adeyanju, who made undertaking to effect that such action would not be repeated by any of their agents.