Nigerian News

Fuel subsidy: Court bars NLC from embarking on strike

The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja has halted the planned strike by the organised labour over the removal of fuel subsidy.

Justice O. Y. Anuwe on Monday, granted an interim order restraining the Nigeria Labour Congress, (NLC), and the Trade Union Congress, TUC, from going on strike from Wednesday as planned, pending the determination of the motion on notice.

In the suit marked NICN/ABJ/158/2023 dated June 5th, the Federal Government is listed as the applicant and the NLC and the TUC as the defendants.

Appearing before the court on behalf of the applicant, Maimuna Lami Shiru (Mrs), DCL, Federal Ministry of Justice, with Feyisara Titiloye (PSC) and Ekene Elodinuo B. (PSC), sought for “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.

Relying on Sections 16 and 19(a) of the NIC Act 2006, Justice Anuwe said they empowered the court to make orders or grant urgent interim reliefs.

The Judge stated that “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.”

He maintained that “the 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.”

Having considered the totality of the application, the Judge ordered that “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 5th June 2023”.

He also ordered that “the defendant/ Respondents be immediately served with the originating processes in the suit, the motion on notice and the order of the court.”

After ruling on the application, the Judge put the motion on notice for hearing for 19th June 2023, when hearing notices to that effect shall be served on the defendants/Respondents along with the other processes.