On Friday, November 10, the National Industrial Court, restrained the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Trade Union Congress, TUC, as well as their affiliates from embarking on any form of strike or industrial action.
The two labour unions were ordered to stop their planned nationwide strike scheduled to commence on November 14.
President of the Court, Justice Benedict Bakwaph Kanyip issued the restraining order following an ex-parte application to that effect brought before the Court by the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Attorney General of the Federation, AGF, and Minister of Justice.
Justice Kanyip invoked sections 17 and 19 of the National Industrial Court Act to issue the restraining order against the organised labour.
The Federal Government and the AGF through their lawyer, Tijani Gazali had in the ex-parte application prayed the court to stop the planned strike.
They said this was to avert untold hardships that would be inflicted on innocent law abiding citizens and their businesses.
Gazali, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and Director of Civil Appeals in the Federal Ministry of Justice, while arguing the ex-parte application, drew the attention of Justice Kanyip to series of hardships suffered by Nigerians on Thursday alone when the labour unions blocked entrances to the main Airports in the country.
He pleaded that unless the planned strike is stopped, there may be a likelihood of breach of peace in the country.
The Judge, who was persuaded by the government’s arguments, said that it is within the power of the court to intervene by way of a restraining order to ensure peace and tranquility.
He proceeded to grant all the requests of the federal government as contained on the motion paper.
Besides, Justice Kanyip directed that the restraining order be pasted on the wall of the building at the last known address of the two defendants to draw their attention to the Court’s position.
The Judge also directed that the order along with the originating and other processes be served by publication in two major national dailies.
Meanwhile, the case file has been transferred to Justice Olufunke Anuwe who is said to be handling similar labour dispute related matters.