Court Stops National Assembly Workers from Going on Strike

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Deji Elumoye in Abuja

The National Industrial Court has restrained the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, PASAN, from engaging in acts that may lead to the closure of the National Assembly.

Justice Sanusi Kado who gave the order in Abuja also restrained the leadership and members of the Parliamentary Staff Association from embarking on total strike.

Senate President Bukola Saraki and the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon.Yakubu Dogara, had dragged PASAN to the National Industrial Court seeking an order to restrain the workers from closing down the National Assembly.

Saraki and Dogara in their motion ex parte filed on December 18, sought the order of the court, to restrain PASAN members from proceeding on strike, pending the determination of the motion on notice before it.

A lawyer in the office of the Senate President, Mr. Sambo Ndahi, deposed to an affidavit in support of the motion on notice.

The motion on notice sought for “an order of interim injunction restraining all the defendants /respondents, particularly their agents, privies, servants, however called from taking steps to proceed or proceeding on strike, pending the determination of the motion. ”

“An interim injunction restraining PASAN, their agents, privies, servants from giving directives to their members to proceed or proceeding on strike.”

After reading the affidavit and the submission of the counsel to the defendants, A.P Ameh, Justice Kado, in his “order of interim injunction”, on suit: NICN/ABJ/360/2018, directed the leadership of PASAN and their agents to refrain from proceeding on strike.

The judge also warned the striking workers against embarking on any action that could lead to the closure of the National Assembly complex.

He, however, cautioned the management of the National Assembly against embarking on any action that could disrupt the ongoing negotiations aimed at resolving the dispute.

Justice Kado consequently warned the PASAN leadership against embarking on any action that could lead to the shutdown of the National Assembly complex.

The order further restrained PASAN leadership against blocking access to the gate leading to National Assembly complex or prevent their members who desire to perform their lawful duties, from doing so.

The parliamentary workers had on Monday embarked on a four-day warning strike which ended Thursday over unpaid allowances estimated at N2.7 billion.

The striking workers were however prevented from gaining access to the National Assembly on Wednesday when President Muhammadu Buhari presented the 2019 Appropriation bill to the federal legislators.