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SSAUTHRIAI DISSOLVES RESEARCH INSTITUTES' SECTOR'S EXECUTIVES

By NBF News
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National Executive Council (NEC) of the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI) has ordered the dissolution of the executive committees of the research institutes sector of the union.

Besides, the National Industrial Court (NIC) has also upheld the suspension of Messrs E.N.C Uzoalu and Steve N. Ehika, chairman and secretary of the Research Institutes Sector of SSAUTHRIAI respectively.

In a memo, reference number SSAUTHRIAI/NEC/1/98, dated October 5 and signed by Moshood Akinade, national secretary of SSAUTHRIAI, the dissolution of the executives of research institutes' sector was based on the non-remittance of 'check-off dues of the sector to the national secretariat of the union since August 2009.'

SSAUTHRIAI also accused the executives of over-staying in their respective offices beyond the stipulated four years tenure without the approval of the NEC of SSAUTHRIAI.

'In addition, the research institutes sector has failed to render annual accounts to the national headquarters in the last three years contrary to the constitution of the union and the Trade Unions Act.

'In the light of the foregoing, I am directed to inform you of the dissolution of the Sectoral Executive Committee of Research Institutes Sector with immediate effect,' the letter stated, directing all affected officers to hand over union properties in their possession.

Meanwhile, the NIC has reaffirmed the indefinite suspension slammed on Uzoalu and Ehika by the NEC of SSAUTHRIAI.

Both sectoral officers had dragged the union to the NIC over the indefinite suspension slammed on them on March 22, 2010 while also querying the continued stay in office of Akinade as the national secretary of SSAUTHRIAI.

In the ruling of the court, exclusively obtained by Daily Sun at the weekend, the court upheld the indefinite suspension of the two officers, which it stated, was in line with the 'provisions of SSAUTHRIAI's constitution as amended.'

Not only that, the NIC, presided over by Justice F.I. Kola-Olalere, held that Akinade remained the national secretary of the union 'until SSAUTHRIAI decides otherwise at its national conference.'

According to the NIC, the suspended sectoral officer 'cannot be heard to now complain of fair hearing after refusing to respond to the query thereby failing to react to the allegation in the query and we so hold.'

'Rule 19(ii) of what the claimant termed original constitution of SSAUTHRIAI and rule 21(ii) of the one they called doctored one allow the 3rd defendant to suspend recalcitrant officers.

'It is, therefore, our considered view and we so hold that the claimants were properly and legally suspended in line with the provisions of SSAUTHRIAI constitution as amended,' the industrial court stated.