Court extends order prohibiting hospital from suspending staff

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The gavel of justice

The National Industrial Court has extended by another 14 days the interim injunction it granted restraining the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Kaduna, from suspending Dr. O.O.Akpapunam.

Justice Peter Lifu had on July 15 restrained the hospital from suspending the claimant and transferred the matter to the vacation judge beginning July 20.

One of the vacation judges, Justice Maureen Esowe, extended the order by another 14 days so that the claimant counsel could respond to the memorandum of appearance by the defendants.

But, the second vacation judge, Justice Olufunke Anuwe, further extended the order over alleged disobedience by the hospital in Abuja on Tuesday.

Anuwe, who adjourned the case to Aug.22, ordered the respondents counsel, Musa Abuhuriaiah , who held brief for Prof. Sani Idris to ensure that the court order made on July 15 was complied with.

According to her, the order of court is still valid and subsisting. I am going to extend the lifespan of the order while the needful is done.

“The counsel should ensure that the order of court made on July 15 is complied with,” Anuwe said.

Earlier, claimant’s counsel, Mrs Ann Ibinola, had told the court that the interlocutory order of July 15 had not been obeyed by the respondents.

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“We wish to observe my Lord, that the ex-parte order of this court has been flagrantly disobeyed by the respondents,” she argued.

She submitted that the claimant had been removed from the hospital duty roster and her salaries had been stopped.

This, Ibinola said, was a clear disobedience of the interlocutory injunction of July 15.

She said that she had filed a contempt proceeding, and urged the court to extend the interim injunction to ensure that the respondents comply with order.

Abuhuriaiah, who opposed the application, said the issue on the ground was for the hearing of the motion on notice.

In another development, the court has adjourned till Aug.16, the alleged compulsory retirement suit of Salihi Bala, a Deputy-Comptroller General of Prisons, against the Federal Ministry of Internal Interior.

Bala had asked the court to restrain the ministry or any of its agents from compulsorily retiring him.

Anuwe had on Aug.2 refused the motion and ordered the applicant’s counsel Sani Tijani, to put the respondent on notice.