The National Industrial Court sitting in Owerri, Imo State has issued an interim injunction restraining the national leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress from removing its Abia State Chairman, Chief Uchenna Obigwe.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Obigwe had approached the court, urging it to invalidate his removal from office by the national leadership of the NLC.
He said the President and National Secretary of NLC, Ayuba Wabba and Emmanuel Ugboaja respectively, both respondents in the suit, in a letter dated February 8, removed him from office.
The union directed a former Abia State President of the National Union of Local Government Employees, Eze Idima, to take over as the state chairman.
The order issued by Justice I. S. Galadima and made available to NAN in Umuahia on Friday described Obigwe’s application as “meritorious and granted as sought.
“Consequently, the respondents, their representatives, agents and others are hereby restrained from the implementation of the contents of the letter addressed to Idima, dated February 8.
“The interim Order shall be duly complied with until the same is varied or vacated by any subsequent Orders of this same Court on or before April 21.”
The court adjourned the matter to April 21 to hear the motion on notice.
Addressing newsmen in Umuahia on the court order on Friday, Obigwe described his removal as an act of illegality, saying it was wrong for the National Executive Committee of the NLC to replace him with somebody outside the state NLC executive.
He said: “If their action is legitimate, they should have replaced me with my deputy or any of my vice chairmen or a member of the state executive.”
He said Idima, who ran against him for the chairmanship position in 2015 and 2019 but lost, was not a member of the state executive.
He said based on the Court Order, he would resume office by next week.
In a reaction, Idima, who works in Aba North Local Government Area, said he would wait for the national leadership’s directive for the next line of action.