Highlight of the court judgement in suit no NICN/L/165/2022 ADEBOWALE OSHUN VS LAGOS SWAN & NATIONAL SWAN, PRESIDENT SWAN, NUJ & OTHERS
The judgment was delivered by His Lordship M. N ESOWE on 23 December 2023
The claimant commenced the suit by Originating Summons praying the court that his removal from office as Chair Lagos SWAN chapter by SWAN was wrongful and illegal amongst others.
In response to the applicant’s Originating summons, SWAN Counsel Barr Ajibola Akinwale filed a comprehensive counter affidavit and also filed a notice of preliminary objection to the competence of the suit on the grounds that the court lacks jurisdiction to hear and determine the suit on the ground that SWAN is a registered independent, professional association and not a Trade Union.
That SWAN having been registered at the CAC, issue relating to its operations is within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court among others.
The applicant thereafter filed an interlocutory motion praying the court to restrain SWAN from conducting its Lagos State chapter election held in 2022 and that the court should set aside the decision of SWAN Congress appointing SWANECO and disbandment of SWANECO.
SWAN lawyer filed a robust counter affidavit in response to same. The applicant thereafter withdrew the application which was struck out by the court.
The court in its judgment that was read for more than one hour upheld SWAN counsel’s Notice of Preliminary Objections and struck out the applicant’s suits and reliefs sought and held as follows:
1) SWAN is an independent registered professional association and not a trade union within the meaning of Trade Union Act and there is nothing before the court that SWASN was registered as trade union
2) The Court held that the facts of the applicant’s case arose from internal dispute with the SWAN as an association and that dispute within the association can only be resolved only through the internal mechanism of SWAN association.
3) The court berated NUJ and NUJ President sued as 5th and 7th Defendants for their failure and refusal to enter appearance and failure to file anything in defence of the suit. That the NUJ defence if had been filed would have probably throw more light to the case and that since they relected not to file anything in defence, the court could not wait for them forever.
3)The court finally agreed with the argument of SWAN in the Notice of Preliminary Objection and struck out the applicant’s case and the reliefs sought by the applicant.
Certified true copy of the judgment shall soon be uploaded as soon as obtained next week Friday 4th February 2022