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Court orders resident doctors to suspend strike

Court orders resident doctors to suspend strike
September 17
13:45 2021

The national industrial court has ordered the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend its strike “with immediate effect”.

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The doctors had commenced the strike on August 1 over “irregular payment of salaries”, among other issues.

Efforts by the house of representatives to mediate between the federal government and NARD ended in a deadlock.

The federal government then instituted a suit against the association, asking the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining members of NARD from continuing with the action.

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At the court session on Friday, Tochukwu Maduka, counsel to the federal government, prayed the court for an order directing the defendant to suspend the strike pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

However, opposing the application, Robinson Ariyo, representing the resident doctors, argued that the application by the federal government is an infringement on their right to life especially under the conditions of the pandemic.

He submitted that members of NARD are persons entitled to emergency rights under the COVID-19 protection regulations and other related best practices in connection with the mental and physical health of doctors.

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Ruling on the application, Bashar Alkali, the judge, said the applicants were “able to show that unless this application is granted, so many Nigerians will lose their lives, most especially as the country is experiencing an upsurge in this third wave of COVID-19 with increasing fatality arising from the absence of the defendants from hospitals”.

“It is my firm believe that if the court does not intervene at this stage, there is no amount of money that can compensate for the lives of Nigerians who would lose their lives if the members of the defendants continue with their strike.”

The judge also stated that parties ought to have suspended all hostilities since the matter was brought to court.

“I find the application meritorious and I resolve the lone issue for determination in favour of the claimant applicant,” the judge held.

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“I grant all the prayers as contained in the face of the motion paper and in effect, I hereby grant an order of interlocutory injunction that members of the defendant respondent in all the states of the federation are hereby restrained from continuing with the industrial action embarked on since on the second day of August 2021 pending the determination of the substantive suit.

“Also, I hereby order all members of the defendants/respondents in all the states of the federation to suspend the said industrial action commenced on the second day of August 2021 with immediate effect and to resume work immediately pending the determination of the substantive suit.”

 

 

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