THE National Union of Food Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUBTFE) and the other respondents on Wednesday at the resumed hearing in the suit before the Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court asked the presiding judge, the Honourable Justice (Dr) E. A. Orji, to recuse herself from the case for they have lost confidence in her.
At the sitting, Mr I. J. Ikechukwu Esq, counsel to the respondents, informed the court of what had transpired since the last sitting of the court, taking particular note that the two sittings at the Court of Appeal where attempts to file motions for leave and stay of the proceedings were made but failed on account of non-service and filing of objections.
To prove that that the appeal was alive and being giving accelerated attention, counsel to the respondents, Mr Ikechukwu, proceeded to file the certified true copies of the records of proceeding of the Court of Appeal at Wednesday’s sitting of the NIC, praying that trial be halted pending the determination of the appeal, and against the backdrop of the objection of the respondents to Justice Orji’s handling of the suit.
Mr Okechukwu urged the court not to proceed as doing so will mean undermining the authority of the court of appeal being a superior court.
Counsel to the claimants, Mr O. A. Afolabi Esq, and Mr A.A. Ologundudu, however urged the court to go ahead with hearing of the originating summons which was originally slated for Wednesday’s sitting,
Mr Afolabi particularly stressed that instances abound where the lower court is encouraged to proceed even where there is proper appeal especially where an appeal was just filed without being actively pursued by the appellants.
Although Justice Orji tended to agree with the Mr Afolabi’s argument, she however stated that in the prevailing instance, the suit was commenced last year and that it has not overstayed to warrant any rush.
Based on this argument, Justice Orji adjourned the matter to 26th May, 2021 for hearing of pending applications and to enable the court and parties in the suit know the outcome of cases at the Court of Appeal.
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