LAGOS – The Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday fixed Oct. 8 to hear a suit against the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) over alleged denial of members’ rights. The suit, which was earlier slated for hearing on June 5, was adjourned by the court due to its work load. Two plaintiffs; Messrs John Nwanosike and Jonathan Omare, members of the Chevron branch of the Association had instituted the suit on May 26 by an exparte motion. They are seeking an order to restrain the defendants from holding any delegates’ conference, pending the hearing of the substantive suit before the court. Listed as defendants are — PENGASSAN, Chevron branch of the association, Mr Frank Esanubi and Mr Ayanate Kio. The plaintiffs in their affidavit averred that they were duly elected as delegates to the conference, adding that their tenure was valid for a term of three years. They averred that the defendants removed their names as delegates before the expiration of their tenure and thereby denying them the right to vote and be voted for at the conference. According to the plaintiffs, the second and third defendants also set up a panel of inquiry to investigate them in a bid to prevent them from exercising their voting rights.
They averred that in spite of no evidence to support the allegation of them committing any offence, the panel declared them guilty.
The plaintiffs therefore sought a declaration that the removal of their names as delegates to the zonal and national conferences was unconstitutional.
They also sought an order to mandate the defendants to include their names as delegates as well as to restrain them from holding the conference until the illegality in the removal of their names was addressed.
At the last adjourned date, Justice Okon Abang had ordered that the exparte motion of the plaintiffs be converted to a motion on notice and same served on the defendants. (NAN)