Doctors strike: We were denied fair hearing – NARD responds to court ruling

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The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has said it is not satisfied with the ruling of the National Industrial Court (NIC) directing its members to return to work.

Justice Bashar Alkali had ordered the resident doctors to suspend their ongoing industrial action and return to work immediately, pending the determination of the substantive suit.

Justice Alkali who ruled on an application by the government had also directed parties in the matter to return to the negotiating table, saying no amount of money could compensate for the loss of lives as a result of the impasse.

But NARD President, Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, the union’s Secretary-General, Jerry Isogun, and spokesperson, Oludotun Osikoya, in a communique jointly signed on Friday, revealed that the doctors have begun the process to appeal the ruling and file application for stay of execution.

The doctors also noted that they were denied fair hearing by the court.

 

Read the statement below:

 

Distinguished NARDITES and Colleagues,

As we are all aware, especially those that were present in court today, 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.

Thank you all for your steadfastness.

Aluta Continua! Dare to fight, dare to win!




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