The National Industrial Court in Abuja on Thursday, directed the Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International, which is seeking an order restraining resident doctors from continuing their ongoing strike action, to place them on notice.
The NGO, through an ex-parte application, had prayed the court to order the striking doctors under the aegis of National Association of Resident Doctors, NARD, back to work on the grounds that the industrial action now constituted national health emergency and amounts to denial of access to health care to Nigerians.
Joined as defendants in the suit are Uyilawa Okhuaihesuya, who is the President NARD; the Incorporated Trustees of Nigerian Medical and Dental Association, and the Minister of Health.
Others are the Federal Ministry of Health, the Minister of Labour and Productivity and the Attorney General of the Federation/Minister of Justice
However, the vacation judge, Justice John Targema, after listening the suit, said the affected parties ought to be put on notice before a trial court grants a restraining order, especially when a trial court is prayed to make an order of restraint exparte.
Consequently, the judge ordered that the motion be made on notice to the parties affected by the application.
He also directed that hearing notice be served on the defendants and proof of service of the motion on notice and all originating processes on the defendants be filed in the case file before the next adjourned date.
Justice Targema ruled: “By Order 17, Rule 14 ( 5) of NICN proceedings 2017, this court can make or refuse to make the order sought, or may direct the motion to be made on notice to the parties affected.
”The affected parties ought to be put on notice before a trial court grants a restraining order, when a trial court makes an order of restraint exparte, the order is made in breach of the provisions of section 33 (1) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).
”Having considered the arguments of learned counsel for the Applicant and the law as stated, I am inclined to invite the defendants – respondents on grounds of fair hearing.”
Naija News reports that the Executive Director of the NGO, Kingdom Okere, had earlier argued that Nigeria was facing a public health and extreme health emergency as a result of the recent outbreak of cholera in some States of the Federation and COVID-19 pandemic which had resulted in deaths of some citizens.