Court restates ruling stopping organised labour’s strike over fuel subsidy removal

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The National Industrial Court, on Monday, ruled that the injunction prohibiting the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) from carrying out their prearranged industrial action remains in effect.

According to Justice Olufunke Anuwe, the order that was given on June 5 is still in effect while the move on notice is being heard and decided.

The dispute was postponed until July 20 for a hearing and the court also ordered that the parties preserve the status quo.

Earlier, when the case was called, the Federal Government’s counsel, Mr Ochum Emmanuel informed the court that the matter was slated for Monday for the claimant to take its motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the defendants from embarking on strike.

He added that he was ready to proceed with his application as the defendants had been served.

Mr Marshall Abubakar, the defendants’ counsel on his part however replied that they had filed an application praying the court to set aside its order granted on June 5, restraining his clients from embarking on strike.

Abubakar added that the counter-affidavit was served on the claimant on Monday in court after the application had been delivered to them on June 8.

The claimant filed the counter-affidavit on June 16 and gave the bailiff instructions not to serve them until Monday in court, he said.

When the court asked if the defence was lawfully present, Abubakar said he wasn’t sure but that he would find out and take the appropriate action.

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He also asked for a little break so he could see the counter-affidavit and respond.

Emmanuel, in response, opposed Abubakar’s application for adjournment and urged the court to allow him take his motion on notice which was slated for hearing.

The counsel also reiterated that the federal government will never a file process and instruct any bailiff not to serve the other party.

He argued that it was probably due to the fact that he filed the processes late on June 16 that made the bailiff to serve defence counsel in court on Monday.

Emmanuel in his submission equally averred that the defendants were not properly before the court as they had not filed their memorandum of appearance, but only came to urge the court to vacate the order it granted on June 5.

He stated that the defendants being not properly before the court cannot seek for an adjournment.

In addition, he submitted that if the court should deem it fit to grant Abubakar’s application for an adjournment, the court should equally declare that the order restraining the defendants from embarking on strike granted on June 5 subsists.

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