The Abuja division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria has ordered doctors residing in the country to suspend their national strike Doctors from the West African country under the auspices of the Nigerian Association of Resident Physicians (NARD) had embarked on an indefinite strike on August 1 over what they called irregular payment of wages, among other issues.
Judge John Targema, in a ruling on the ex parte request on Monday, asked all parties to the lawsuit to suspend all forms of hostilities and maintain the status quo pending the hearing and determination of the motion with notice.
It was the second time the judge had refused to order resident doctors to resume work, as Monday’s ruling came about four days after rejecting a similar call from a civil society organization, Rights for All International, last Thursday.
“Having especially examined the sworn statement of extreme urgency, the grounds of the request, the sworn statement in support of the same, and the arguments of the applicant’s lawyer. I also weighed the attorneys’ presentations and arguments about the law as it stands in this application.
“The plaintiff/petitioner and defendant/defendant are hereby ordered to suspend all forms of hostilities immediately pending the hearing and determination of the motion in the notice,” he said.
The judge also ordered that a hearing notice be issued and other processes be delivered to the defendant, including the original summons, and they be kept in the case file before the next postponement date.
The judge adjourned the matter until September 15 for a hearing on the motion on notice and/or any other pending request on its merit.
Attempts by the Nigerian House of Representatives to resolve the impasse between the federal government and resident physicians have proved futile.
The Nigerian government then proceeded to file a lawsuit against NARD in court, demanding an interlocutory injunction order preventing the doctors from continuing the industrial action.