17th January, 2012
The National Industrial Court (NIC) on Monday, ordered the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) to report in court on February 9 for a formal settlement of the strike dispute with organised labour, following the fuel subsidy removal.
This is in spite of the pronouncement by labour suspending the strike on Monday, following the pronouncement by President Goodluck Jonathan cutting the petrol pump price to N97 from N141, as well as announcing measures to sanitise the petroleum industry.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the AGF, Mr. Mohammed Adoke (SAN) on behalf of the Federal Government had approached the court on January 6, asking it to grant an injunction to stop the NLC and TUC from embarking on the nationwide strike.
The court granted the order and further restrained labour from “inciting the general public to embark on general strike, street protests, mass rallies or any other action that would be inimical to the economic affairs of Nigeria, pending the determination of the motion on notice”.
The order was procured through an ex-parte motion by the Office of the Attorney General of the Federation.
However, the strike took effect on Monday, January 9, and lasted for five days. Labour suspended it for two days, with effect from January 13.
In his ruling on Monday in Abuja, Justice Babatunde Adejumo said he invoked Section 20 of the NIC Act 2006, to order for “amicable resolution.”
He said the section empowered the court to make order or orders in any proceeding that could promote reconciliation among parties, to facilitate an amicable settlement.
“The court has taken judicial notice of the fact that the NLC and TUC have not entered appearance for the third time the court is sitting.
“I have also gone through my records and discovered that the applicant (AGF) has fully complied with the order to publish the order of injunction in a substituted means in This Day, Punch and Leadership newspapers.
“In view of this, we are invoking the section of the Act setting up this court to encourage amicable settlement before the adjourned dates of Thursday, February 9 and Friday, February 10.
‘’We are embarking on this long adjournment to explore other options of settlement, besides what we have’’.