RTEAN crisis: Court fixes hearing for Nov. 11, Dec. 16

The National Industrial Court (NIC), Abuja on Thursday fixed Nov. 11 and Dec. 16 to hear a case on the leadership crisis rocking the Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN).

A former National President of the association, Mr Eriyo Osakpanwan, had obtained an injunction, restraining the acting National President, Mr Mohammed Musa, and six others from parading themselves as members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) of RTEAN, pending hearing and determination of a motion before the court.

The court is presided over by Justice Sanusi Kado.

However, Musa and his team had similarly, obtained an order from the NIC, issued by Justice O.Y. Anuwe on Oct. 8, calling on all parties to maintain law and order, pending determination of the motion on notice.

Anuwe, who fixed Oct. 17 for hearing of the motion had ordered that the motion on notice as well as the originating processes should be served on Osakpanwan by Musa.

But when the matter was called up on Thursday, Counsel to Musa, Mr Sule Shuaibu protested that Mr A.S.U. Garba, who announced appearance for Osakpanwan and Yusuf, was an interloper.

Shuaibu said that counsel to Musa had served him the originating processes earlier in the day.

The judge said that it appeared to her that there was a conflict regarding representation of the first defendant, directing Garba to regularise his position.

She pointed out that Garba had not filed to enter the appearance process.

Anuwe asked the two lawyers if they had issues with the originating summon and interlocutory application before she stepped down the case.

The leadership crisis rocking the RTEAN took a new dimension on Sept. 17, with the expulsion of Mr Eriyo Osakpanwan as National President of the association by the National Executive Committee (NEC) of the association.

The NEC, which took the decision at an emergency meeting in Lagos, also announced the expulsion of the union’s Secretary-General, Mr Ibrahim Yusuf.

It consequently, announced the appointment of Musa, the Deputy National President (Administration), and Mr Henry Ejiofor, the Deputy Secretary-General as replacements for the sacked duo.

The NEC said the expulsion of Osakpanwan and Yusuf was due to alleged fraudulent activities perpetrated by them and the creation of chaos in executive councils of the association in some states.

The development, however, worsened the leadership crisis in the association with Musa and Osakpanwan factions, each claiming the association’s top post. (NAN)

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