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Nigeria Labour Congress Says It Will No Longer Respect ‘Frivolous’ Ex Parte Orders

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has expressed concerns over the frequent use of ex parte orders against it by some judges who it said had bent to accommodate the whims and caprices of the executive branch of government.

The organised labour described such orders as black-market injunctions that it would no longer respect.

Recall that the federal government was granted an ex parte order by the National Industrial Court (NIC) restraining the union from proceeding with the proposed nationwide strike slated for last Wednesday.

The union accepted the court’s decision but described it as a weapon against the interests of Nigerian workers.

However, in a statement issued in Abuja, the NLC President, Mr. Joe Ajaero said it had taken steps to vacate the extant injunction in question in consultation with its lawyers.

Ajaero said black market injunctions constitute an inherent and present danger to the image of the judiciary and it would not hesitate to picket any court that issues such injunction in the future.

NIC had in the ruling that was delivered by Justice OY Anuwe, barred the two organisations from proceeding with the strike action, pending the determination of a suit that was brought before it by FG.

The court held that the interim order, as well as the substantive suit, should be immediately served on both the NLC and the TUC, which were cited as defendants/respondents in the suit marked: NICN/ABJ/158/2023, even though it fixed the matter for hearing on June 19.

The court order followed an ex-parte application that FG filed through the Federal Ministry of Justice.

Federal government’s lawyer, Mrs. Maimuna Lami Shiru, who moved the application, maintained that the proposed strike action was capable of disrupting economic activities, the health sector, and the educational sector.

The federal government further tendered Exhibits FGN 1, 2, and 3, which were notices from the NLC, TUC, and the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, to their members, asking them to withdraw their services with effect from Wednesday, June 7.

The court, in its ruling, held that it was empowered by Section 7(b) of the NIC Act, 2006, with the exclusive jurisdiction in matters relating to the grant of any order to restrain any person or body from taking part in any strike, lockout or any industrial action.

It held that sections 16 and 19(a) of the NIC Act 2006, also empowered it to grant urgent interim reliefs.

The court held that the affidavit of urgency, as well as the submission of the federal government’s lawyer, revealed: “a scenario that may gravely affect the larger society and the well-being of the nation at large”.

Source: Arise TV