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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Breaking News: Court restrains NLC, TUC on pump price strike




ITRealms:

The National Industrial Court, NIC, Abuja has placed a restraining order on the strike action of the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, which was to begin tomorrow reports ITRealms.

The labour unions, had vowed to embark on a nationwide industrial action should the federal government refuse to reverse the sudden hike in the price of fuel from N85.50 to N145.

In a ruling on Tuesday, the NIC President, Justice BabatundeAdejumo, restrained the labour unions from going on strike, pending the determination of a suit the federal government lodged before it. Justice Adejumo further ordered all the parties to maintain status quo until the legal dispute is settled.

The order followed an ex-parte application that was filed by the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, AbubakarMalami, in a determination to abort the planned strike.

The AGF had approached the NIC, begging it to restrain the labour unions from “shutting down the nation”. Placing reliance on section 14 of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, FG, insisted that it would not be “in the national interest” for the NLC and TUC to proceed on nationwide strike over the fuel price increase.”

The AGF argued that ‎no amount of damages could serve as compensation if the labour unions are allowed to shut down the economy. Contending that the balance of convenience was in favour of the government, the AGF, prayed the court to determine “Whether the respondents (NLC, Trade Union Congress) have complied with the laid down condition precedent for embarking on strike‎”, as well as, “Whether indeed there exist in law and in fact the basis of which the respondents’ total closure of the economy can be justified”.

He said the respondents, aside threatening to shut down the country if government failed to reverse the fuel price increase, equally threatened to close down all government offices, seaport, airports and markets. Arguing that ordinary and law abiding citizens would be subjected to hardship if the respondents were allowed to go ahead with their threat,he added that the government was left with no alternative but to seek the intervention of the court.

ITRealms also gathered that neither NLC nor TUC was represented in court, Justice Adejumo granted the ex-parte motion, even as he ordered the service of all the relevant court processes on the respondents. The restraining order against the respondents will elapse after seven days.

Okoli Vincent/Vanguard/GEE


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