The National Industrial Court, NIC, sitting in Abuja, on Friday, restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, from going ahead with their plan to embark on a nationwide strike action on November 14.
The Federal Government filed an ex-parte application through the office of Mr. Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, and the court issued the order in response.
The court based its decision on sections 17 and 19 of its Act, stating that it was within its authority to become involved in the labour union-FG issue, according to a verdict delivered by Justice Benedict Kanyip, the court’s president.
Both the NLC and the TUC are listed as defendants in this case.
Justice Kanyip directed that the restraining order should be pasted on the wall of the Labour House, which is the last known address of the two Defendants, to draw their attention to the ruling.
More so, the judge held that the restraining order, alongside the Originating Summons and other relevant processes in the matter, should be served on the Defendants through publication in two major national dailies.
The case was, thereafter, transferred to Justice Olufunke Anuwe, who was said to be handling a similar labour dispute between the same parties.
The President of NIC further stated that at the proper moment, Justice Anuwe would notify the parties of a hearing.
Recall that on November 14, the two labour unions had threatened to go on strike in response to what they saw as state-sponsored thugs and security officers attacking and mistreating their president, Comrade Joe Ajero, in Imo state.
The unions, which had on Thursday, blocked the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to register their grievance over the incident, had since downed tools in Imo state.
In a bid to avert the nationwide industrial action, FG, through its lawyer, Mr Tijani Gazali, SAN, approached the court with the exparte motion.
It claimed, among other things, that the strike would cause enormous economic losses for the country and cause immeasurable misery for law-abiding, innocent citizens and their businesses.
Gazali, SAN, argued that there would be a chance of a violation of the nation’s peace and calm if the court did not step in.
Following his hearing from the government attorney, Justice Kanyip declared that he was inclined to approve the application.
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