Uche Usim, Abuja
The management of Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST), Monday, frowned at what it termed “the unlawful invasion of its premises by hoodlums and outlaws operating under the umbrella of Amalgamated Union of Public Companies, Technicians, Recreational and Entertainment Employees (AUPCTRE)”.
Spokesman of the Tribunal, Kenneth Ezea, in a statement said the action was in clear violation of the order of the National Industrial Court directing AUPCTRE and its officials to keep off IST’s premises as its staff are no longer affiliated to it.
“Management asserts that after reviewing the structure and orientation of AUPCTRE, it decided that affiliation of the Tribunal’s staff to it was incongruent with normal practice as the AUPCTRE’s sectoral coverage and affiliates have no relationships with what the Tribunal does as a judicial body.
“When this issue could not be resolved amicably, a case was filed at the National Industrial Court (NIC), to resolve two basic questions namely – whether AUPCTRE and its officers are the appropriate and/or legal union to represent the staff of the Tribunal having due regard that the Tribunal is a court carrying out judicial function and second; whether the AUPCTRE is the legal trade union body to represent the staff of the Tribunal.
“On May 21, 2019, the NIC gave its judgment in which Justice Sanusi Kado ruled that AUPCTRE is not the legal trade union to represent members of staff of IST. The court also restrained the officers of AUPCTRE from parading themselves as representatives of IST staff while directing management, “not to interfere with the staff in choosing to join appropriate unions within the jurisdictional scope of the industry to which they belong” which is the judiciary”, he explained.
Ezea said other affiliates of AUPCTRE are technicians, photographers, hotel workers, mechanics, among others. While management has due regard for the liberal principle and philosophy of dignity of labour, it is our view that our staff should relate with civil service, public service and judicial trade unions.
“Consequently, the management of the Tribunal condemns the lawless decision of AUPCTRE and their leaders especially Benjamin Anthony and Sikiru Waheed to violate the order of court to disrupt the activities of the Tribunal. The securities agencies have therefore been alerted to ensure there is no repeat of this kind of brigandage and to fish out the lawbreakers and charge them to court.
“Management also wishes to dismiss the empty claims and spurious allegations being promoted as the grievances of the staff. It’s curious that staff should organise a protest against speculated transfers and punishments that are yet to take place. Moreover, we are not aware of any management that can single handedly over-ride the Federal Government to implement a policy that has been banned.
“The sponsors of the protests who apparently want to retain permanent executive positions in AUPCTRE in order not to leave Abuja on transfer to any other city should realize that the soldiers serving in the war fronts all over Nigeria are also human beings.
“For close to two years now they have invested everything they can think of to petition, incite the government against and blackmail the Chairman of the Tribunal for their selfish reasons. But this management remains resolute in doing the correct things in public interest”, he added.