AUPCTRE pickets securities tribunal, demand suspension of Chairman

The Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE), on Monday picketed the headquarters of the Investment and Securities Tribunal (IST).

National President of AUPCTRE, Com. Benjamin Anthony, who led the protesting staff decried the non-implementation of agreements reached with the IST management in 2018.

The protesters also demanded the suspension of the IST Chairman, Isaiah Idoko-Akoh, while calling on the ministry of finance to immediately investigate his activities at the Tribunal.

Speaking with newsmen at the venue of the protest, Anthony said that the union’s plan was to occupy the office until government yield to their  demands.

“We will escalate this protest to the national level if nothing is done,” he said.

According to Anthony, none of the agreements reached in February 2018 has been met by the management of IST.

He listed some of the agreements to include: “That only an officer from within the IST should head the procurement department.

“That members of staff should not be denied promotion on account of secondment of staff from other agencies.”

In the 2018 document sighted by our correspondent, the union and management agreed that promotion allowances be paid and promptly, while severance packages be paid as agreed, with effective dates of promotions specified.

Anthony further said that the recent protest was necessitated by the decision of the Tribunal Chairman to transfer leaders of various unions in the organisation in spite of subsisting court order.

He said that the union had appealed against the ruling of the National Industrial court against the union and two of its leaders and subsequently filed a motion on notice pending the determination of the appeal.

“The union had written to the Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Finance on the matter and also, the decision of the unions to embark on industrial action.

The letter to the Permanent Secretary read in parts: “In spite of the above, Mr Idoko Akoh has resolved to transfer our union executives out of the IST head office against Labour Conventions.

“Mr Idoko’s actions will cause breach of peace and worsen the industrial crisis in IST.

“The union will resist his attempt to flout the law and violate the established legal principle of lis pendis,” he said.

The union also accused the Chairman of preferring to work with Youth Corps Members and persons on Industrial Training (IT), usually from his own ethnic nationality rather than IST staff members.

They therefore appealed to the Ministry to compel the chairman to respect the 2018 agreement and also step aside from office while he is being investigated.