National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, to call off the strike action they commenced since August 2.
The order followed a suit the Federal Government filed before the court to challenge the legality of the strike action.
FG, alongside the Federal Ministry of Health, had insisted that resident doctors embarked on the strike action, without proper notice as provided by the extant laws.
It argued that members of NARD, being of “essential services providers”, were prohibited by law from embarking on strike.
However, this followed the breakdown of negotiations by both parties.
He added that they brought an entirely different settlement that wasn’t in the original document and walked out of the meeting with the Labour Minister.
Furthermore, the counsel stressed that there have been interventions from the President, Vice President and the National Assembly, but NARD has refused to shift grounds.
In his defense, however, counsel to the resident doctors, Mr. Femi Aborishade, told the court that the Minister of Labour, invited NARD to a meeting with his aides who brought additional documents of settlement, proposing a term of settlement.
He insisted they never walked out of the meeting and urged the court to order the Federal Government to go into negotiations and reconcile on issues within the additional document.
The proposed new term of settlement by the resident doctors, which is predicated upon the recognition that the timelines in the original Memorandum of Understanding, has relapsed, is one of the reasons the negotiation failed.
In a short ruling, justice Bashar Alkali, ordered the Federal Government to move its application for interlocutory injunction, which mandates the Resident Doctors to suspend their strike and go back to work pending when the substantive suit is heard and determined.
It was not clear as the press time whether NARD would obey the court order since their basic demands have not been met.