The Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) says it has appealed the ruling of the national industrial court (NIC) ordering it to end the ongoing strike and resume work.
The union said before it received the court order, it had challenged the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.
The court had on May 17 ordered health workers — under JOHESU — to suspend its strike and resume work “within 24 hours”.
Babatunde Adejumo, the judge who gave the order, did so following an ex-parte motion filed by Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
But speaking at a press conference on behalf of JOHESU on Saturday, Godwin Okara, chairman, Assembly of Healthcare Professionals Association (AHPA), said the union received the notice of the court order on Friday.
The notice, he said, came after the union had already filed its application at the court of appeal.
“An order of interim injunction compelling JOHESU to immediately resume duties was just served on JOHESU at 5.39 pm on Friday May 25,” he said.
“We have the greatest respect and regard for the judiciary of our country Nigeria.
“[But] JOHESU had before the receipt of this court order filed court processes in the national industrial court and the court of appeal on the 21st of May, 2018, challenging the locus standi of the NGO and the jurisdiction of the court to entertain the suit.”
He also questioned the rationale behind the NGO going to court to end the strike when it is “neither our employer nor a party to the agreement JOHESU signed with government”.
“The NGO has constituted itself into a meddlesome interloper,” Okara said.
While sympatising with patients and their relatives over the effects of the strike, he said it was “in the best interest of improving the country’s health sector”.