…decries denial of a fair hearing, to appeal judgement
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), has defied a ruling by the National Industrial Court (NIC), directing the aggrieved doctors who have been on strike for over one month, to resume work immediately, pending when a substantive suit was determined.
The doctors, who are adamant on continuing with the strike until their demands were met, had accused the court of violating their fundamental rights as a union, by denying them a fair hearing at the court proceedings on Friday in Abuja.
A statement signed by NARD’s President, Dr. Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, Secretary General Dr. Jerry Isogun and Publicity and Social Secretary, Dr. Dotun Oshikoya and made available to newsmen on Friday in Abuja, noted that their counsel has been instructed to appeal the court judgement.
According to leadership of NARD, the Court had consistently refused to take its Notice of Preliminary Objection (NPO) which ought to come first, before the government’s application for interlocutory injunction.
The statement reads: “The NIC has given a ruling on the application for interlocutory injunction filed by the Federal Government. We are not satisfied with the ruling.
“After consultations with our lawyers, we have instructed our lawyers to appeal the ruling and file application for stay of execution.
“On 15/9/2021, the court reserved ruling on which Application the court would take first.
“Our lawyers had argued in the Court on 15/9/2021 that the court ought to hear and determine our Notice of Preliminary Objection challenging the jurisdiction of the court before taking the Application for Interlocutory injunction or any other application. The court adjourned ruling on the argument on that issue to today.
“Today, the court ruled that it would take the Government’s Application for interlocutory injunction first and our NPO would be taken and determined along with the substantive suit.
“Also, our lawyers drew the attention of the court to our application for stay of execution of the ex parte order and that the court should take that Application first. The court insisted that the government application would be taken first.
“On 15/9/21, the court ordered all parties to resume negotiations. The government refused to resume negotiations in line with the order of 23/8/21.
“Our lawyers reported this development to the court. We have demonstrated good faith and would continue to do so.
“By the refusal of the court to hear and determine our Notice of Preliminary Objection before taking the government’s application for Interlocutory injunction, we believe we have been denied fair hearing which is a fundamental right.
“In the circumstances, we have instructed our lawyers to file necessary processes.
“We urge all members to remain calm and resolute. Everything depends on our firm resolve.
“We are committed to protecting your rights within the confines of the law. We believe Justice shall be ours ultimately.”
Earlier on Thursday night, the leadership of NARD had walked out on the Federal Government after series of break out sessions and consultations, during a meeting aimed at reaching an out – of – court agreement ahead of Friday’s hearing before the NIC.