By Bartholomew Madukwe

National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN, Uyo Judicial Division, has struck out a suit challenging the continued tenure of Comrade Martins Effiong as the Akwa Ibom State President of Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, after his transfer out of the Local Government Service system.

In Suit No. NICN/UY/11/2017, filed by Akpan and two others, the trial judge, Justice M. A. Namtari, in a judgment delivered on June 11, 2018 struck out the suit on the ground of incompetence, which deprives the Court of jurisdiction.

In the same vein, the Industrial Arbitration Panel, IAP, has directed the Akwa Ibom State government to post Comrade Effiong back to the local government system.

IAP also directed that 19 other branch chairmen be posted back to their government areas, where they were elected, to complete their tenure of office as elected, so that they have an opportunity to complete their tenure as elected union representatives.

Other awards made by the IAP include directives that the Akwa Ibom State Government should remit checkoff dues of NULGE to the FCMB account of the elected leadership of Comrade Effiong, pay the accumulated unpaid salaries of Comrade Effiong, since he was transferred outside the local government system and that the Akwa State Government should implement the 2015 post-strike resolutions/agreement with NULGE.

It was gathered that the suit at the NICN and the trade dispute (DISPUTE NO: IAP/HB/3900) were handled by a renowned human rights lawyer in Nigeria, Femi Aborisade, on behalf of NULGE.