PenCoN requests acknowledgment as the retirees of Chevron's representative.

PenCoN requests acknowledgment as the retirees of Chevron's representative.
As the exclusive organization for Chevron retirees, the Pensioners of Chevron of Nigeria (PenCoN) has asked for full recognition.

PenCoN, through its legal representative, Evans Ufeli, wrote a letter dated October 3, 2023, to the Chevron Nigeria Closed Pension Funds Administration (CNCPFA). Evans Ufeli stated that the organization is registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), as well as that it is protected by the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and the inherent right to freedom of association.

Ufeli maintained that the Chevron Retirees Association of Nigeria (CRAN) only became an incorporated Trustee after PenCoN was founded, claiming that CRAN is not registered as such.

Ufeli further contended that although CRAN was initially established as an entity, it lacked the legal authority to represent pensioners (retirees) at that time due to the clear fact that it was registered and incorporated as a limited liability company, thereby depriving it of that authority. In contrast, PenCoN was fully incorporated on October 28, 2022, bestowing upon it full powers and the necessary authority to represent the interests of retirees who voluntarily chose to become members of the same.

"Your body has failed, neglected, and/or willfully refused to recognize our client," the letter states. "More so, being approved as a legitimate body corporate by the laws of Nigeria as a separate legal entity distinct from its members, while entrenched with the capacity to sue and be sued," our client has been fully incorporated first with the necessary legal capacity to represent retirees and properly constituted under the extant laws of the federation. Your office or body has not yet felt it is appropriate to consider our client in the best interests of all parties involved, despite the fact that the same has made multiple requests to your office in the past for proper and deserving recognition.

Ufeli cited the following passages from the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended): "Everyone shall have the right to freely assemble and associate with others; in particular, he may form or be a member of any political party, trade union, or other association for the protection of his interests."

The 1999 Constitution states in section 16(1)(d) that the State shall ensure that all citizens have access to appropriate and sufficient housing, food, a reasonable national minimum wage, old age care and pensions, unemployment benefits, health care, and assistance for the disabled, all within the framework of the ideals and objectives for which provisions are made in this Constitution.

"In the case under reference, your body has inadvertently fostered an atmosphere of differences, stimulated by its preference to deal with CRAN at the expense of our client, thereby flaring the embers of hostility and leaving a bitter taste in the mouths of concerned and affected Nigerian citizens, who all gave a better part of their youth and adult lives serving your organization meritoriously," he continues.

Because of your body's deliberate disregard for our client's legal and legitimate existence as a legitimate entity burdened with aims and objectives therein (which have been lawfully formulated), as well as your decision to engage CRAN, purportedly on behalf of members (retirees), devoid of the due and authorised consent of same, the atmosphere, environment, and psychological disequilibrium created thus far by your organization in the case under reference is counter-productive and stemming from the aforestated, hence our demand letter.

The attorney, whose client is a fully registered body corporate with its registered office at No. 1, Adenowo Mabadeje Street, Ebute-Igbogbo Road, Ikorodu, Lagos State, urged that the organization respond accordingly by giving his client due consideration.

In order to address their complaints about the non-recognition of its duly elected administration, he further called for a forum that would serve the interests of its members—retired company employees.

Thus, if CNCPFA did not respond to the letter or meet his demands, he threatened to file a lawsuit.

"PenCoN is worried about CNCPFA being outsourced without first consulting her members or their representatives. The PRA-2014 does not contain any language granting the employer the authority to take action and transfer retirees' assets from internal closed pension plans to an outside pension fund administrator. The legal system will also test this, according to Ufeli.

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