The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) were prohibited from going on strike by the National Industrial Court (NIC), Abuja, on Monday in protest of the Federal Government’s unilateral revocation of the fuel subsidy.
In a decision written by Justice O. Y. Anuwe, the court prohibited the two organizations from carrying out the strike action while it awaited the outcome of a lawsuit filed by FG.
The NLC and the TUC were named as defendants/respondents in the lawsuit marked: NICN/ABJ/158/2023. The court ordered that the interim order and the main action should be served on both parties promptly, even though it set the subject for hearing on June 19.
The court’s decision was the result of an ex-parte application that the FG submitted via the Federal Ministry of Justice.
The motion was brought by FG’s lawyer, Mrs. Maimuna Lami Shiru, who said that the anticipated strike action could impede business operations as well as the health and education sectors.
FG also presented Exhibits FGN 1, 2, and 3, which were notices to members from the NLC, TUC, and Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, urging them to stop working as of 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 FG’s lawyer revealed: “a scenario that may gravely affect the larger society and the well-being of the nation at large”.
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