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JUST IN: Court orders striking resident doctors back to work


By Eric Ikhilae, Abuja

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) in Abuja has ordered striking members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend their ongoing industrial action immediately.

Justice Ibrahim Galadima (the court’s vacation judge) gave the order on Wednesday while ruling on an ex-parte application by two groups – Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER) and Association of Women in Trade & Agriculture (AWTA).

Justice Galadima also ordered members of the NARD to resume duties forthwith pending determination of the motion on notice filed by the plaintiffs.

The judge made the orders after listening to plaintiffs’ lawyer, Frank Tietie, who argued the motion.

The plaintiffs had sought an interim order directing the NARD, being a provider of the essential services of health necessary to the fundamental right to life, to immediately cease its strike action and resume duties forthwith pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.

After granting the plaintiff’s prayers, Justice Galadima adjourned till October 8, 2020 for the hearing of the substantive suit.

Joined as co-respondents in the motion are the Minister of Health, Minister of Labour and Productivity, and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice.

NARD embarked on the strike on September 7, 2020 over issues bothering on group life insurance for doctors and other health care workers.

They also raised issues of payments of death-in-service benefit to next of kin/beneficiaries, universal implementation of the medical Residency Training Act in all federal and state hospitals.

NARD members are also seeking the review of the hazard allowance of healthcare workers and payment of the COVID-19 inducement allowance.

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