The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) on Monday ordered the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend its ongoing strike and resume work immediately pending the determination of a suit brought before the court by the Federal Government.
KanyiDaily recalls that the resident doctors had embarked on strike since August 2, 2021, over irregular payment of salaries, hazard allowances among other issues.
Efforts by the house of representatives to reach a new agreement between the federal government and NARD ended in a deadlock – despite a meeting that lasted six hours.
Last Friday, the trade dispute between the government and the resident Doctors was handed over to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria for adjudication.
An exparte motion by the Federal Ministry of Health seeks for an order of interlocutory injunction, restraining members of NARD from further continuing the industrial action they embarked upon on August 2, contrary to Section 41 of the Trade Dispute Act, pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The motion with Suit no: NICN/ABJ/197/2021 has the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Government as 1st and 2nd Claimants/Applicants and NARD as the only Defendant/Respondent.
Court Orders Resident Doctors To Resume Work
Upon hearing the motion ex-parte and affidavit in support sworn by Ahmed Nasiru, the Director of Legal Services, Federal Ministry of Health, the Presiding Judge, Justice J.I Targema granted an order of interlocutory injunction.
Justice Targema compelled all members of the Defendants/Respondents in all the States of the Federation to suspend the said industrial action commenced on August 2, and resume work immediately pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The Court held that the continued downing of tools by the striking doctors have inflicted a lot of damage on the health system and the sick, especially in this perilous times of COVID-19 pandemic.
Targema further ordered that the Claimant/Applicant and the Defendant/Respondent suspend all forms of hostilities forthwith pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
The judge adjourned the matter to September 15, 2021, for the hearing of the motion on notice and any other pending application.
KanyiDaily recalls that Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige had advised resident doctors in the country to be humble and carry themselves with dignity, rather than ‘play God or compete with God’.