*Court orders Resident Doctors to suspend strike, resume duties immediately
*Asks parties involved to suspend hostilities pending determination of the motion on notice
*We relied on the affidavit of extreme urgency, grounds of application – Judge
*Says Court weighed submissions, arguments of counsel on the law as it stands
The National Industrial Court, Abuja Division yesterday ordered the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD to suspend its nationwide strike.
Nigerian Pilot recalled that the doctors had on August 2 this year embarked on an indefinite strike over alleged irregular payment of salaries among other issues.
Despite efforts by the House of Representatives Committee on Health Services to mediate between the federal government and NARD, the strike had continued to date.
The Federal Government had also instituted a suit against the association, demanding an order of interlocutory injunction which would stop the striking doctors from continuing the industrial action.
In a ruling on the ex parte application yesterday, Justice John Targema asked all parties in the suit to suspend all forms of hostilities pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.
He said: “Having looked especially on the affidavit of extreme urgency, the grounds of the application, the affidavit in support of the same and arguments of counsel for the applicant. I also weighed the submissions and arguments of counsel on the law as it stands on this application.”
“It is hereby ordered that claimant/applicant and the defendant/respondent suspend all forms of hostilities forthwith pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice”, he stated.
The Minister of Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige took the striking doctors to Court over the abdication of their responsibilities.
The Industrial Court summoned the doctors to explain why the “no work, no pay” rule should not be applied against them.
The resident doctors began an indefinite strike on August 2, 2021, due to the failure of the government to meet most of their demands.
Some of them were the withdrawal of the circular by the Head of Service removing House Officers from the scheme of service and the transfer of its members from the GIFMIS platform to the IPPIS platform because of the hardship caused by the GIFMIS platform due to the delays in payment of their salaries ranging from three to seven months.
Speaking in a briefing after the case was adjourned, last week, President of the NARD, Dr Uyilawa Ukh, said: “Good afternoon Nigerians, I want to deeply on behalf of all resident doctors in Nigeria thank you wholeheartedly for the show of love and empathy towards our cause.
“We are not unaware of the sufferings you all are going through due to government insincerity of purpose.
“It is120 days today since we heeded your call to call off our industrial action following the government memorandum of action.
“It is five years and 11 months since we signed the memorandum of terms of settlement (MOTOS) yet the Government has reneged.
“As you are aware, today the Government sued us to the National Industrial Court for adjudication.
“As a law-abiding association, we were in Court as summoned, but the Ministry of Labour was absent and only the Ministry of Health was present representing the Federal Government. The case was adjourned to 15th September 2021.
“We once again appeal to Nigerians to bear with us because a hungry Doctor is a dangerous doctor.
“We are hopeful the government shall do the needful as it pertains to the welfare of our members, thus curbing the ugly incidence of brain drain. Together we can. God bless the beautiful people of Nigeria” he maintained.
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