The National Industrial Court has restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) from going on its planned strike on Wednesday, pending the hearing and determination of a suit brought before it by the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF). The Attorney General, Abubakar Malami, had dragged the NLC to the Industrial Court, seeking an order of the court restraining the NLC from proceeding with the planned strike. He had sought the order on the ground that the strike would paralyze the nation’s economy.
The AGF wants the court to decide whether the NLC complied with conditions precedent in law before threatening to embark on strike. He told the Industrial Court that its refusal to grant the application would render the suit useless. No counsel represented the Nigeria Labour Congress.
When asked by the presiding judge, how the AGF knew the NLC was planning to go on strike, Mr Malami said he saw a statement issued by the labour union on their website and that the statement had been published by the media. The Court was presided over by the President of the National Industrial Court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo.
Ruling on an exparte application filed by the AGF on behalf of the Federal Government, Justice Adejumo ordered parties to maintain the status quo until the hearing and determination of the exparte motion. The order will elapse in 7 days
Justice Adejumo directed the applicant to dialogue with the NLC towards an amicable resolution of their dispute. The case was adjourned to May 24 for hearing of the motion on notice.
The Nigerian government is already holding talks with the labour union to address issues raised by the union after the government announced a new price band for petrol, raising it from 86.50 to 145 Naira per litre.
The union is not comfortable with the 67.6 per cent increase in the price of petrol.