The Nigerian government has cautioned the organised labour – comprising the Nigeria Labour Congress (NUC) and the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), to shelve its planned industrial action beginning from Monday midnight, saying there is a subsisting court order, which restrained them from embarking on strike.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi, SAN, said this in a statement on Monday adding that “the Labour unions must obey the subsisting court order.”
The AGF reminded the NLC and the TUC that there was a subsisting court order stopping the unions and their affiliates from embarking on the strike.
The interim order was granted on November 10 by the President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Justice B. B. Kanyip.
The statement released by Kamarudeen Ogundele, Special Assistant, Communication and Publicity to the AGF and Minister of Justice, said the unions had been served the court order and, therefore, must surrender themselves to the authority of the court which is already aware of the case.
“Any action taken contrary to the order will be tantamount to contempt of court. We use this medium to urge the unions to respect the court order and adhere to the principle of the rule of law. There is no need to resort to self-help.
“We urge workers to report for duties and not to entertain any fear as their safety is guaranteed and will be protected within the ambit of law,” the AGF stated.
It would be recalled that President of the National Industrial Court, Justice Benedict Kanyip, had recently restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) as well as other affiliate unions from embarking on strike from Tuesday November 14.
The two leading labour unions were restrained from going on with the planned strike based on an ex parte order secured by the Nigerian government, seeking to stop the industrial action.
The FG had told the court that allowing the planned industrial action to hold, would have adverse effects on the economy as well as unleash untold hardship on citizens and their businesses.
Consequently, Justice Kanyip invoked sections 17 and 19 of the National Industrial Court Act to issue the restraining order against the labour unions.
The judge had said it was within the power of the court to intervene by way of restraining order to ensure peace and tranquility.