Doctor’s strike: Court directs FG, NARD to proceed with suit as negotiation fails



The National Industrial Court, Abuja, on Friday  directed the Federal Government and the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors ( NARD) to proceed  with their applications due to failure to reach  definite terms of settlement.

The in addition ruled claimant could proceed with its motion on notice on interlocutory injunction and directed defendant’s preliminary objection would be taken along with  the substantive suit when the case file is reassigned by the President of the .Justice  Bashar Alkali   delivered the ruling after the stated that negotiation as advised by the had failed.

The claimant’s counsel, Tochukwu Maduka, SAN, informed the that parities met, but that however, defendant came up with a different document titled ” terms of settlement “.He added document contained issues entirely different from what was in the original MoU.Maduka in addition said claimants came to the meeting with an addendum MoU as the timeline on the original one had elapsed as it was prepared on Aug. 28.Femi Aborishade, the defence counsel, on his submitted that the proposed Terms of settlement was predicated upon in recognition that the timelines in the original MoU had elapsed.The counsel also said that there was need to set new timelines and that the claimant ought to have sought for a meeting in order to reconcile the differences in the timelines.Aborishade further urged the to invoke Section 20 of NICN proceeding to order the claimants to go negotiation with the defendant.

Aborishade equally averred that as stipulated by law, their preliminary objection should be taken before the claimants motion on notice.He added that there was an order made by the on Aug.23 that stated that motion on notice and other pending applications will be taken on Sept.15, therefore that their preliminary objection should be taken and not with the substantive suit.The judge however  refused the application and said order was made on Aug.23 and the defence filed its preliminary objection on Aug.31He said therefore pending applications as stated by the did not include preliminary objection that was not in existence then.

Alkali in addition directed Maduka to move his application on motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.The claimants  application is seeking 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 Aug. 2.Another order  the claimants are seeking is for an order of interlocutory injunction compelling all members of the respondent in all States of the Federation to suspend the said industrial action it commenced on Aug. 2.The judge after listening to the Maduka’s application and defence counter affidavit on the application, stepped down the matter for ruling.

The News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN) reports claimants, Ministry of Health, and the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour had earlier approached the court through an ex-parte motion praying for some order of the court.

The claimants 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 Aug. 2.

Another order as sought by the applicants was for an order of interlocutory injunction compelling all members of the respondent in all States of the Federation to suspend the said industrial action it commenced on Aug. 2.

The court therefore on Aug.23 granted an order directing to cease all forms of hostilities and adjourned until Wednesday to take motion on notice.(NAN)