The National Industrial Court sitting in Benin City has barred Edo Tipper Drivers Association from collecting dues, saying It is only the Union of Tipper and Quarry Employers of Nigeria that has such power.
This was contained in a Suit No NICN/BEN/36/2018 filed by the association against Union of Tipper and Quarry Employers of Nigeria, Edo State chapter.
This was disclosed by Comrade Gabriel Osaigbovo, Chairman of Union of Tipper And Quarry Employers of Nigeria, Edo State Chapter while briefing newsmen in Benin City.
Osaigbovo said before now the body was Truck Owners Association, adding that when the Union of Tipper and Quarry Employers came on board, they all went into harmonization and fused into the new body, but the Edo Tipper Drivers Association refused to adhere to the new development and decided to go to Industrial Court for better interpretation.
According to Osaigbovo, “Edo Tipper Drivers Association is not a registered trade union and it cannot carry out the duties of the union as they are presently doing.
They should desist from that act that are contrary to what they are registered to do as a body.
” It is only the Union of Tipper and Quarry Employers of Nigeria that has such power to collect levies or dues from its members or workers”.
He said that it is only their Union that can collect union dues from Tipper drivers, Truck drivers and other trucks within solid minerals in Edo State.
The chairman also said that it is the duty of the internal revenue service that should collect government revenue by the new harmonized act of 2017.
Also speaking, Wilson Ogbachi, state Assistant Secretary, Union of Tipper And Quarry Employers of Nigeria, Edo State chapter, said the Tipper Drivers Association of Nigeria has no legal right to go about collecting levies, rates and dues but it has gone ahead with it, remitting very little to the state government.
“Nobody is permitted to collect cash, what they are to do is to enforce, make sure that the approved rate that you are supposed to pay to the state government via that scratch card has been paid and sound enters electronically.
“So, it is the duty of you the union officials on ground to make sure that you enforce, you make sure that your union members comply.
“That is how is being done but this Tipper Drivers Association has forcefully denied government of that benefits and are doing the collection by themselves and whatever they want to remit to the government, that is what they remit and the rest is for them”, Ogbachi said.
Ogbachi said for the anomaly to stop forthwith, the state government should come to their aids and put an end to the activities of the association as they have no legal right to continue with same.
In the judgement, the court said the claimant which is theTipper Drivers Association lacks capacity to institute the present suit against the 1st – 3rd defendants as predicated on the enacted Edo State Local Governments Union and Harmonized Levies, Rates Fees and Charges Law, 2017.
Consequently, the question set down for determination and the reliefs sought by the claimant in this case, cannot be sustained with respect to the subject matter of this suit, as a result of which the suit fails for lack of merit and is hereby dismissed.