Due to the parties’ failure to agree specific terms of the settlement, the National Industrial Court in Abuja on Friday urged the Federal Government and the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors ( NARD) to proceed with their cases.
The court also held that the claimant could move forward with its motion for an interlocutory injunction on notice, and that the defendant’s preliminary objection would be considered along with the substantive suit when the case file was reassigned by the President of the court.
After the parties declared that negotiations, as instructed by the court, had failed, Justice Bashar Alkali issued the ruling.
Tochukwu Maduka, SAN, the claimant’s attorney, informed the court that parities had been met, but that the defendant had produced a different document headed “terms of the settlement.”
He went on to say that the paper raised issues that were not addressed in the original MoU.
Maduka also stated that the claimants brought an amendment MoU to the meeting because the previous one’s timetable had elapsed since it was prepared on August 28.
The proposed Terms of Settlement, according to defense attorney Femi Aborishade, were founded on the acknowledgment that the dates in the original MoU had gone.
The counsel further stated that fresh timetables were required, and that the claimant should have requested a conference to settle the timing inconsistencies.
Aborishade further requested that the court use Section 20 of the NICN proceedings to require the claimants to negotiate with the defendant.
Aborishade further stated that their preliminary objection should be heard before the claimant’s motion on notice, as required by law.
He went on to say that the court issued an order on August 23 stating that motions on notice and other ongoing applications will be heard on September 15, and that their preliminary objection should be heard before the main complaint.
The judge, however, denied the application, stating that the order was issued on August 23 and the defense’s preliminary objection was filed on August 31.
As a result, he claimed that the court’s list of ongoing petitions did not include a preliminary objection that did not exist at the time.
Maduka was also ordered by Alkali to file his application for an interlocutory injunction on a motion on notice.
The claimant is seeking an order of interlocutory injunction prohibiting respondent members in all states of the Federation from continuing the industrial action that began on August 2.
Another order sought by the plaintiffs is an interlocutory injunction requiring all members of the respondent in all states of the Federation to halt the industrial action that began on August 2.
After hearing Maduka’s application and the defense’s counter-affidavit, the court adjourned the case for a decision.
The claimants, the Ministry of Health, and the Federal Government through the Ministry of Labour had previously addressed the court through an ex-parte motion, requesting for a court order, according to the Nigerian News Agency ( NAN).
The claimants had asked for an interlocutory injunction prohibiting respondent members in all states of the Federation from continuing the industrial action that began on Aug. 2.
Another order requested by the petitioners was an interlocutory injunction requiring all members of the respondent in all states of the Federation to stop the industrial action that began on August 2.
As a result, the court issued an order on August 23 ordering the parties to cease all forms of hostilities and adjourned until Wednesday to hear the application on notice.
SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN