Patients in government hospitals being denied hospital services due to the JOHESU strike are soon to heave a smile of relief as His Lordship, Hon. Justice B. A. Adejumo, OFR, Abuja Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, on Thursday 17th May 2018 in a order made via an EX-parte application ordered Mr. Josiah Biobelemoye (president) and Mr. Chimele Ogbonna (Vice-President).
Both of them are principal officers and representatives of Joint Health Sector Union JOHESU to call back their members throughout the federation to suspend the strike action they embarked upon on 17th April, 2018 or there about and report at their various duty post within the next 24 hours in a case of Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International Vs. Hon. Minister of Health and 6 others.
Also, an order of interim injunction directing and compelling the JOHESU to immediately return to the negotiation table with the federal government taking into consideration the provision of the National salaries, income and wages commission act and other enabling laws, to arrive at an acceptable ad reasonable upward adjustment of CONHESS salary scale and arrears of skipping CONHESS 10, until the plaintiff’s application I hard and determined, or until further order of the Hon. Court.
The Ex-parte motion was brought by Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International praying among others for An order of Interim Injunction compelling the striking members of the joint health sector union to immediately resume duties at the various health institutions across Nigeria; and to immediately suspend the ongoing strike which was commenced on the 17th April, 2018 and which has denied many Nigerians access to health care, especially those on emergency/accident unit, pregnant women on antenatal and those on postnatal, and which has resulted to death of estimated one thousand two hundred and ten 1,210 Nigerians in the on the ground the strike constitutes extreme public health emergency, until the plaintiff application on notice for interlocutory is heard and determined, or until further order of the honorable court.
After reviewing the application, the Court Presided by Hon. Justice B. A. Adejumo -President, National Industrial Court of Nigeria expressed thus;
“I have gone through the Motion Exparte, filed by the claimant/applicant. I have equally perused and digested all supporting processes attached therewith. To my mind, this motion is seeking an order/orders of this court in the interest of the Nigerian citizenry suffering health related hazards in consequence of the ongoing industrial action to wit strike embarked upon by the 1sst and 2nd defendants/ respondents.
This court is a court established by the constitution and given the exclusive jurisdiction and power to deal with such matters throughout the federation.
The principal role herein is to balance the convenience of the striking employees and that of the innocent Nigerians who are now the victims of the strike of which they knew nothing about.
This court according to the International best practices is not to consider only the interest of parties before it alone. It must go a further to consider the consequence of its decision or pronouncement on the larger society. Who are members of the larger society I am referring to? These are innocent members of the society who are the worst hit of the ongoing strike.
I hereby grant the prayers contained in the motion exparte and order as follows;
The 1st and 2nd defendants/respondent who are principal officers and representatives of joint health sector union JOHESU are hereby ordered to call back their members throughout the federation to suspend the strike action they embarked upon on 17th April, 2018 or there about and report at their various duty pot within the next 4hours.
The Hon. Minister of Health, Federal Ministry of Health, Hon. Minister of Labour and Productivity, Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity and Hon. Minister of justice/Attorney General of the Federation (3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th defendants/respondents) are hereby ordered to put in place a reconciliatory process towards amicable settlement of the trade dispute within the next 72 hours.
The 1st and 2nd defendants/respondents are hereby ordered to attend any reconciliatory process that may be put in place by the 3rd – 7th defendants/respondents.
The above orders are made in overall interest of the Nigerian Citizenry.
Source: National Industrial Court.