Again, Court Orders Labour to Halt Planned Nationwide Strike

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Alex Enumah in Abuja

For the second time in 24 hours the National Industrial Court in Abuja on Friday ordered the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) to halt its planned nationwide strike, commencing from Monday September 28, 2020.

Justice Ibrahim Galadima of the National Industrial Court in Abuja, made the order in a ruling on an ex parte application by the federal government.

On Thursday, Justice Galadima in a ruling on an exparte application by the Peace and Unity Ambassadors Association, restrained NLC from proceeding with the planned strike pending the hearing and determination of the suit against the strike action.

However, less than 24 hours the first order was granted, the federal government through the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, approached the court for another restraining order against Labour and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The ex parte application which was signed by the AGF, Abubakar Malami, SAN and marked NICN/ABJ/257/2020, was argued by the Acting Director, Department of Civil Litigation, Federal Ministry of Justice, Mrs Maimuna Shiru.

However, delivering ruling in the motion Justice Galadima held that the case of the applicants had merit and subsequently granted their request.

He also ordered service of the court processes on the defendants within seven days.

“Upon careful evaluation and consideration of the motion exparte filed by these cIaimants/applicants before me on this date, and after perusing the deposition contained in the affidavit in support as well as the affidavit of the urgency, I am convinced that the said application is meritorious and the same is granted as sought.

“Consequently, the order of interim injunction restraining the defendant is hereby granted as sought. The defendants/respondents shall be served within seven days from today(Friday) with the motion on notice as well as the other originating processes for the purpose of determining them by this court.”

The judge ordered that “the case file shall be remitted to the Honourable President of National Industrial Court of Nigeria for reassignment to the substantive judge.”

“Hearing date shall be issued and served on all parties accordingly,” he added.

NLC and the TUC have threatened a showdown with the federal government over the increase in pump price and electricity tarriff.

They insisted on embarking on the strike after their appeals to the federal government to revert to the old prices failed.

Meetings between the organized labour and the government over the last one week however continued to end in deadlocks.