Industrial Court Dismisses NUP Suit Against Ngige, RTU, FEPPPAN, Others

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By Obioma C. Appolos

The Abuja Division of National Industrial Court, has ruled against a suit seeking to quash a recent approval for the registration of Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners’ Association of Nigeria (FEPPPAN) and Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria (CPUN) as pensioners’s bodies responsible for the welfare of Federal parastatals and private pensioners and Contributory pensioners, respectively, by the Ministry of Labour and Employment.

According to a press statement made available to journalists in Abuja by President-General, Chief Temple Ubani, and General Secretary, Franklin Erinle, of FEPPPAN, the Court on March 3, 2020, in a ruling delivered by Honorable Justice O.O. Oyewumi, dismissed a suit filed by the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) that sought the Court’s nullification of FEPPPAN and CPUN existence and to declare the powers of the Minister of Labour and Employment and the Registrar of Trade Unions in regrouping NUP into three unions illegality.

The leadership of FEPPAN with Representatives of their Counsels at the premises of the National Industrial Court Abuja after the ruling

The statement in full read; “We, the members of Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners’ Association of Nigeria (FEPPPAN) wish to inform you and the general public that the registration of Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners’ Association of Nigeria (FEPPPAN) and Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria (CPUN) as Registered Trade Unions by the Registrar of Trade Unions, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has been reaffirmed by the National Industrial Court Abuja, in a landmark ruling delivered by Honorable Justice Oyewumi.

“The case filed against the Honorable Minister of Labour; Sen. Chris Ngige, Federal Ministry of Labour, the Registrar of Trade Unions, Chief Temple Ubani, and the Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners Association of Nigeria (FEPPAN), the Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria (CPUN) and Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD) was dismissed for lacking merit and an abuse of court processes.

“The judgement delivered on March 3, 2020, clearly backed FEPPPAN as a new pensioners’ body responsible for the welfare of Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners in Nigeria.

“Recall that upon the approval of FEPPPAN as a body responsible for the welfare of Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, the leadership of the regrouped Nigeria Union of
Pensioners (NUP) approached and asked the Court to declare FEPPPAN and the CPUN illegal and therefore should not be allowed to exist.

“Among other reliefs sought, NUP also prayed the Court to declare that the Minister of Labour and Employment and the Registrar of Trade Unions (RTU), lack the powers to regroup it into new associations/unions.

“But against the many prayers of the leadership of NUP to the Court, the Honorable Court in its careful consideration of all their prayers; dismissed their suit, thereby upheld the approval for the registration of FEPPPAN and CPUN. The Court re-enacted the constitutional powers of the Minister and the RTU regarding the regrouping of NUP for efficiency.

“As believers in the rule of law and its vindicative powers as the last hope of the common man, we make bold to say that this ruling is justice for all pensioners who have suffered so much because of the negligence of the NUP leadership.

“As rightly said by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, when he announced the approval for the registration of FEPPPAN and the other pensioners’ body, the re-group is meant for efficiency and effectiveness. We wish to inform all pensioners under our umbrella-body that FEPPPAN truly stands for efficiency and effectiveness. Therefore, contrary to any unfair treatment or practices that may have been meted on you in the past, your opinions will count in FEPPPAN going forward and your welfare will never be taken for granted.

“As we celebrate this landmark judgement, we welcome you all on board, and in the spirit of sportsmanship, we sue for peace and enjoin all pensioners in Nigeria to co-exist peacefully. We believe that the welfare of Nigerian pensioners is sacrosanct, and all we have done to this point of FEPPPAN’s reaffirmation, is totally to ensure that pensioners get the deserved treatment.

“To this end, we gladly inform all Federal Parastatals and Private Sector Pensioners’ groups in Nigeria of the official and legal recognition of FEPPPAN.

“Also, we are calling on all our members to please come together and take our future in our own hands as we aim to address issues of common interests. You are hereby invited to turn up for a General Meeting on Monday, March 23, 2020 at the National Commission for Colleges of Education, 829 Ralph Shodeinde Street Opposite Federal Ministry of Finance, Central Business District, Abuja, by 11am.

“We thank and appreciate the Court its objectivity in adjudging and upholding the rule of law and proving that it is indeed the last hope of the common man.

“We also thank and appreciate the Honorable Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen. Chris Ngige, the Registrar of Trade Unions and the entire staff of the Ministry for their persistence in carrying out their statutory functions.

“Importantly, we thank our members for their unalloyed support, patience and understanding throughout the protracted period period of the struggle. Above all, we thank God for all He has done.”

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