THE ROAD TRANSPORT EMPLOYERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA V. THE NATIONAL UNION OF ROAD TRANSPORT WORKERS
CITATION: (1992) LPELR-SC.4/1989
   
new OTHER CITATIONS:
1 R.T.E.A.N. v. N.U.R.T.W. (1992) NWLR (Pt. 224)381
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Nigerian Coat of Arms
In The Supreme Court of Nigeria
On Friday, the 21st day of February, 1992
Suit No: SC.4/1989
 
 Between
THE ROAD TRANSPORT EMPLOYERS ASSOCIATION OF NIGERIA Appelants
 
 And
THE NATIONAL UNION OF ROAD TRANSPORT WORKERS Respondents
 
SUMMARY OF JUDGMENT 

Both parties in this appeal are registered Trade Unions under the Trade Union Act. No. 22 of 1978.1n the Lagos High Court the Plaintiff/Appellant took action against the Defendant/Respondent for the following reliefs:-

"(1) a declaration that Plaintiff has the right to operate at motor parks in Nigeria.

(2) a declaration that the Defendant has no right to operate at motor parks in Nigeria:

(3) an injunction restraining the Defendant from operating at motor parks in Nigeria."

These claims were later amended to read:

"(1) A declaration that the Plaintiff has the right to control and operate by way of collection of dues levies, fees or otherwise from its members, at any Motor Parks in Nigeria.

(2) A declaration that the Defendant has no right to control or operate by way of collection of dues levies and fees or otherwise at any Motor Parks in Nigeria other than to load and off load goods and passengers at such Motor Parks.

(3) An injunction restraining the Defendants their servants or agents from controlling or operating by way of collection of dues levies and fees or otherwise at any Motor Parks in Nigeria, other than to load and off load, goods and passengers at such Motor Parks.

(4) A declaration that the defendant is not empowered to collect monies under the "Check Off System" from drivers of vehicles belonging to members of the plaintiff Association.

(5) An injunction restraining the Defendants their servants or agents from collecting monies under the "Check Off System from Drivers of Vehicles belonging to members of the Plaintiff Association."

Statements of Claim and Defence were filed, amended and exchanged. The parties called witnesses to prove their respective cases.

At the conclusion of hearing the learned trial Judge amended and awarded the following claims to the plaintiff/appellant. He declared:-

"In the end, and for all those reasons which I have endeavoured to give. I enter judgment for the plaintiff against the defendant as respects all the claims made by the plaintiff. in these terms:

1. A declaration that the plaintiff as a registered trade union of employers, (whose members engaged in transport business) has the right to control the operations and activities of those members, and the servants and agents of the union and the drivers engaged by those members, at all motor parks throughout Nigeria (at which the plaintiff has been authorized by the owners thereof to enter upon and carry on those activities), so as to facilitate smooth operations of vehicles and orderly boarding and disboarding of passengers and of loading and discharge of goods carried by or in such vehicles, at such motor parks and to collect trade Union does for such services at motor parks from its members, through the drivers employed by those members: and I declare that the defendant has no such rights.

2. An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendant, by itself, its servants and agents (including its workers) from preventing the plaintiff, its servants or agents from carrying on the said activities at any motor parks in the Federation, being activities to which the first declaration relates.

3. A declaration that the defendant is not empowered under its constitution or otherwise to collect monies, (whether by way of fees, dues or charges) from members of the Plaintiff's union at motor parks throughout the Federation or at all."

Dissatisfied with this judgment the defendant/respondent appealed to the Court of Appeal in which court the basic complaints against the judgment of the trial court are:-

"1. That the reliefs granted by the trial Judge were wider than those formulated by the Plaintiff in its Amended Writ of Summons dated 13th September 1983 at pages 281 to 283 of the records.

2. That the Plaintiff did not claim an injunction at all in terms of what was granted it at page 318 lines 27-33 of the record.

3. Locus standi by the Plaintiff to challenge an alleged lacuna in the Defendant's Constitution viz. the right to operate in motor parks owned by local governments etc.

4. The lack of an effective "contradictor" to the claims for Declaration where the rights of the Plaintiff as an association operating within its constitution on its own members, were concerned.

" The Court of Appeal in its judgment at pages 582 to 599 of the record gave judgment in favour of the defendant/respondent.

The plaintiff/appellant has now appealed to this court because it is not satisfied with the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

The appeal succeeded and was allowed. The order of the Court of Appeal dismissing the plaintiff/appellant's claims was set aside. In its place an order of striking out the claims was made. An award of N1,000.00 (One thousand Naira) costs was made to the plaintiff/appellant.

   
Appearances
 
Ladi R. Williams (with him, M.A. Apampa) For the Appelants
 
Chief G.O.K. Ajayi, SAN (with him. O. Ayanlaja and A.A. Adeleye) For the Respondents