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NLC, TUC Strike Prevented By Court

NLC, TUC Strike Prevented By Court 

The National Industrial Court upholds the NLC and TUC’s restraining order, preventing planned industrial action.

By Omotayo Olutekunbi

The National Industrial Court upheld an injunction prohibiting the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) from going through with their planned statewide strike. The court stated that the original order, issued on June 5, 2023, would continue in place until the move-on notice is considered and decided.

The restraining order was upheld by Justice Olufunke Anuwe, who presided over the case. During the hearings, the Federal Government’s attorney, Ochum Emmanuel, told the court that the claimant had scheduled their move on notice for an interlocutory order against the defendants to prevent the strike. Emmanuel remarked that he was prepared to continue since the defendants had been duly served.

However, the defendants’ attorney, Marshall Abubakar, responded by notifying the court that they had filed a motion to set aside the injunction on June 5, preventing his clients from going on strike. According to Abubakar, despite being served with their application on June 8, the claimant presented them with a counter-affidavit in court on Monday, June 19.

When questioned regarding proper service, Abubakar said he was unsure but told the court that he would check and take necessary measures. He also asked for a brief recess to analyze the counter-affidavit and draft a response.

Emmanuel protested the adjournment application, claiming that the federal government had never filed a process and had directed the bailiff not to serve the opposing party. He said that the bailiff served the defense counsel in court on Monday due to the delay in filing the procedures on June 16. Emmanuel also pointed out that the defendants had failed to submit their memorandum of presence, which meant they were unlawfully present in court and unable to request an adjournment.

Abubakar responded by claiming that Emmanuel’s motion was superfluous since the court had already ordered both parties to preserve the status quo until the substantive litigation was heard. He also notified the court that the parties would meet on Monday to reach an agreement.

The court granted the postponement, ordering both parties to preserve the status quo and requiring the defendants to submit their statement of presence.

This situation stems from the defendants’ decision to launch a statewide strike on June 7 to protest the withdrawal of fuel subsidies, which would increase Premium Motor Spirit (petrol) pump prices.

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