By Glory Abuh-Adejoh
Abuja – The Road Transport Employers’ Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) suit, slated for hearing on Thursday at the National Industrial Court, Abuja, was stalled as the matter was yet to be assigned to a judge.
The matter which was slated for hearing of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction, could not hold as the court registrar said it was not listed on the cause list.
Mr Olayiwola Afolabi, the claimant’s counsel, reiterated the registrar’s assertion that the matter was not listed, because after the interim injunction order was granted, the file was sent back to the president of the court to reassign the matter to a judge.
He, however, said the matter was yet to be assigned to a judge and that the court would inform him as soon as that was done.
Afolabi in addition said that the court order restraining Musa Mohammed and six others parading themselves or holding themselves out as officers of RTEAN still subsists.
The counsel also said that the defendants had been evading to be served with the order of the court.
He said that he would get another court order for substituted service on the defendants.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the crisis in the association started on Sept. 15 when Osakpanmwan Eriyo, National President of the association, in a statement announced the dissolution of the executive committee of the Lagos State chapter, citing the expiration of their tenure on Sept. 13 as reason.
He, therefore, announced the inauguration of a caretaker committee, headed by Alhaji Suleiman Onigbanjo, to manage the affairs of the branch, pending the emergence of a new executive committee.
The executive committee members, however, at a news conference on Sept. 16 in Lagos, described the dissolution as illegal, null and void, saying that their tenure would elapse on Oct. 31.
They said that a resolution for the continuity of their executive committee had been passed at the chapel, zonal and state executive levels, adding that it had since been forwarded to the national body.
The NEC at that meeting expelled Eriyo as the National President of the association over alleged fraudulent activities.
Eriyo then approached the National Industrial Court on Sept.19 in Abuja, and obtained an order which restrained the defendants from parading themselves as NEC members of RTEAN, pending hearing and determination of the motion before the court slated for Thursday.
Musa however at the NEC meeting held in Lagos on Sept. 25, said that he had not received any court order restraining his activities as he had been confirmed as the new national president of the association.
Eriyo on his part on Oct.5, in a statement in Abuja advised Nigerians, particularly residents of Lagos, against dealing with Musa and the former Lagos State executives.
In addition, he urged the Lagos State caretaker committee to go about its normal business.