The National Industrial Court (NIC) in Abuja has directed the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and its sacked General Secretary, Comrade John Odah to resolve out of court the dispute arising from the latter’s sack by the former.
Although the action brought against the NLC by Odah was fixed for hearing, President of the court (N.I.C), Justice Babatunde Adejumo granted an adjournment to allow the parties further opportunities for an out-of-court settlement.
Odah’s suit prays for N500million for his alleged unlawful termination of appointment and defamation of character by NLC and its leadership under Abdulwaheed Omar.
But the court was caused to adjourn following Comrade Odah’s counsel, Pius Akubo (SAN) submission that the parties in the matter were not able to hold any meeting after the first meeting which it ordered. Akubo therefore urged the court to give parties in the case more time to enable them to explore further opportunities for a possible amicable resolution in the interest of trade union unity in the country. Counsel to 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th defendants corroborated the submission and said that settling the matter out of court was in the interest of all parties.
Justice Adejumo granted Akubo’s request and adjourned to July 17 and 18, 2012 for report on the outcome of the settlement. But he warned that if at the next date the differences were not resolved as expected hearing would then begin.
It would be recalled that Comrade Odah had approached the National Industrial Court sometime in September last year asking it to, among other things, make a declaration that the purported termination of his appointment as General Secretary of NLC on the pretext of on-going re-organisation in the NLC was “a ruse, reckless, manifestly in bad faith, unlawful and illegal as well as a pungent anti-thesis of what the NLC stands for and represents.” He is therefore seeking reliefs of the court to reinstate him to the position of General Secretary of the NLC as well as granting him costs in the sum of N500 million as damages.