The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC), and its affiliates have been barred from engaging in any kind of strike or industrial action by the National Industrial Court (NIC).
On Friday evening, the two major labour unions (NLC and TUC) were instructed to halt their statewide strike action, which was planned to begin on November 14.
The restraining order was granted by the Court’s President, Justice Benedict Kanyip, in response to an ex-parte application filed before the Court by the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Attorney General of the Federation, and the Minister of Justice.
To impose the restraining order against the workers, Justice Kanyip utilised Sections 17 and 19 of the National Industrial Court Act.
The Federal Government and the AGF had asked the court, through their counsel Tijani Gazali, to halt the planned strike action by the NLC and the TUC in order to prevent immeasurable suffering from being imposed on innocent law-abiding individuals and their companies.
While arguing the ex-parte application, Gazali brought the court’s attention to a number of problems faced by Nigerians.
He claims that unless the planned strike action is called off, there is a risk of a breakdown of peace and tranquillity in the country.
In a brief judgement, the judge stated that the court has the authority to interfere through a restraining order to maintain peace and tranquillity.
He then granted all of the Federal Government’s requests as outlined in the motion document.
Furthermore, Justice Kanyip ordered that the restraining order be put on the wall of the Labour House, the two defendants’ last known residence, to attract their notice to the Court’s stance.
The order, together with the originating and other proceedings, was also served on the defendants by publishing in two major national daily, according to the judge.
Meanwhile, the case file has been moved to Justice Olufunke Yemi Anuwe, who is said to be overseeing similar labour dispute-related cases involving the same two parties.
The Court President, Justice Anuwe, stated that a hearing notice will be sent to the parties at the proper time.