The Federal Government on Wednesday filed a contempt lawsuit against the Nigeria Labour Congress, and the Trade Union Congress for proceeding on an industrial action.
The Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Justice, Beatrice Jedy-Agba had twice stated that the industrial action by organised labour was illegal, noting that there was a subsisting interim order restraining NLC from embarking on any industrial action.
But in defiance, the organised labour went on with the protest across the country on Wednesday.
However, in the suit marked NICN/ABJ/158/2023, the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation are the applicants, while Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress are the defendants.
Also, the suit was addressed to NLC President, Joe Ajaero; Deputy Presidents, Audu Aruba, Prince Adeyanju Adewale, and Kabiru Sani; General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja; TUC President, Engr Festus Usifo; Scribe/ Chief Executive, Nuhu Toro.
The contempt notice signed by Senior Registrar, Balogun Olajide, reads: “Take notice that unless you obey the directions contained in the order of the National Industrial Court, Abuja, delivered by Honourable Justice Y. Anuwe on June 5, 2023, as per the attached enrolled order, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to Prison.
“Having therefore considered the totality of this application, I make the following orders: The defendants/Respondents are hereby~ restrained from embarking on the planned Industrial Action/or strike of any nature pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice dated June 5, 2023.
“It is ordered that the defendant/Respondents be immediately served with the originating processes in this suit, the Motion on Notice and the order of this court hereby made.
“The Motion on Notice is hereby fixed for hearing on June 19, 2023. The Hearing Notices to that effect shall be served on the defendants/Respondent along with the other processes.”
The FG also attached a copy of the exparte order made by Justice Anuwe on June 5, 2023, to the notice of contempt proceeding forwarded to the NLC and TUC officials.