The national industrial court has ruled in favour of the federal government, ordering the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), to suspend its strike with immediate effect pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The doctors had embarked on an industrial action on August 1 over “irregular payment of salaries”, among other issues after which the federal government filed a suit against the association, asking the court for an order of interlocutory injunction restraining them from continuing with the action.
Both parties had on Wednesday told the vacation judge, Justice Bashar Alkali, that they were set to negotiate and give the court an update by Friday.
But at the court session on Friday, counsel to the federal government, Tochukwu Maduka, prayed the court for an order directing the defendant to suspend the strike pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Maduka told the court that the resident doctors were not disputing any issue in the Memorandum of Understanding, but their concern was the relapse of the timeline.
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, refusing to shift grounds after several interventions from the President, Vice President and the National Assembly
However, counsel to the resident doctors, Femi Aborishade, told the court that the doctors 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 court has also asked both parties to return to the negotiating table.