Breaking: Petrol subsidy removal: FG gets court order stopping planned strike

A National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, restrained the Nigerian Labour Congress, NLC, and Trade Union Congress, TUC, from the planned strike action billed to start on June 7, 2023, over petrol subsidy removal.

This is coming as the Federal Government and NLC continued their meeting in Abuja on Monday.

The Federal Government and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister, had dragged NLC and TUC, to court, in an ex-parte application, seeking to stop the strike called by labour over 200 percent hike in petrol price following the subsidy removal.

Mrs. Maimuna Shiru, DCL, Federal Ministry of Justice, appeared for the Federal Government and AGF.

Justice O. Anuwe, while ruling on the ex-parte application, said: “I have heard counsel for the claimants/applicants praying for the following orders:

“An order of interim injunction restraining the defendants/respondents, their members, their agents, employees, workmen, servants, proxies or affiliates from embarking on the planned Industrial Action and/or strike of any nature pending the hearing and determination of the Claimants/Applicants’ motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.

 

READ ALSO:Petrol subsidy removal: NLC in meeting with FG

“And such further or other orders as this Honourable Court may deem fit to make in the circumstance.
“I have heard learned counsel for the claimant/applicants on a motion ex-parte wherein they seek an order of this court restraining the defendants/respondents, their members, agents, employees, workmen, servants, proxies or affiliates from embarking on the panned Industrial action and/or strike pending the determination of the motion on Notice which was filed along with this application. I have read the supporting affidavit and Exhibits FGN1, 2 and 3, as well as the Written Address of counsel.

NLC to embark on strike Wednesday
Nigeria Union Congress, NLC, to embark on strike June 7

“I have also read the affidavit of urgency dated and filed June 5, 2023.
“Learned counsel for the applicant has pointed out that the proposed strike action is capable of disrupting economic activities, the health sector and the educational sector. Exhibits FGN1, 2 and 3 are notices from the 1st defendant and the Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ, respectively, to their members, to withdraw their services with effect from June 7, 2023.
“By Section 7(b) of the National Industrial Court Act 2006, this court is empowered and indeed is clothed with exclusive jurisdiction in matters relating to the grant of any order to restrain any person or body from taking part in any strike, lock out or any industrial action or any conduct in contemplation or in furtherance of strike, lock out or any industrial action.

Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC

“Sections 16 and 19(a) of the NIC Act 2006 also empower this court to make orders or grant urgent interim reliefs.
“The urgency enumerated in the affidavit of urgency and in counsel’s submission reveals a scenario that may gravely affect the larger society and indeed the well-being of the nation at large.

“Counsel has pointed out that students of Secondary Schools nationwide, especially those writing WAEC exams will be affected; the tertiary institutions who have only just resumed after a long ASUU strike will also be affected, not leaving the health sector, amongst other sectors; and above all, the economy of the nation.
“In my view, this is a situation of extreme urgency that will require the intervention of this court.

 

READ ALSO:SERAP to Tinubu: Probe lost $2.1bn, N3.1trn subsidy payments or face legal action

Having, therefore, considered the totality of this application, I make the following orders:
“The defendants/respondents are hereby restrained from embarking on the planned industrial action/or strike of any nature, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice dated June 5, 2023.
“It is ordered that the defendant/ respondents be immediately served with the originating processes in this suit, the motion on notice and the order of this court hereby made.
“The Motion on Notice is hereby fixed for hearing for June 19, 2023.

“Hearing notices to that effect shall be served on the defendants/respondents along with the other processes.”

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