Court orders doctors back to work, Ngige hails ruling

Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige has described  the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) ruling on the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors ( NARD) strike as a welcome development.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the court in a ruling ordered striking members of NARD and the federal government to suspend all forms of hostilities and maintain status quo.

The vacation judge, Justice John Targema, gave the order Monday pending the hearing and determination of motion on notice.

Justice Targema said he granted the application after careful consideration of the processes filed by the applicants.

Reacting to the court’s verdict, Dr Ngige reassured the affected doctors that the ruling would not prevent the Ministries of Health, Finance, Budget Office of the Federation (BOF) from the implementation of the agreements contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
The MOU was reached at the last meeting with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and affiliate associations with timelines affixed to them.
NAN reports that the NMA led three doctors associations to the negotiation on Aug. 20.
NAN reports that Justice Targema in the ruling said: “having looked especially on the affidavit of extreme urgency, the grounds of the application, the affidavit in support of same and arguments of counsel for the applicant.
” I also weighed the submissions and arguments of counsel on the law as it stands on this application.

“It is hereby ordered that claimant/applicant and the defendant/respondent suspend all forms of hostilities forthwith pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice”.

He further ordered that hearing notice be issued, along with other processes which included the originating summons be served on the respondent and proof of service to be kept in the case file before the next adjourned date.

Further to this, Justice Targema adjourned the matter until September 15 for hearing of the motion on notice and/ or any other pending application on its merit.

The applicants, Ministry of Health, and the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour had approached the court through an ex-parte motion praying for some order of the court.

The applicants had sought for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining members of the respondent in all States of the Federation from further continuing with the industrial action embarked on August 2. (NAN)

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