Court Restrains El-Rufai’s Judicial Commission From Investigating Nigerian Labour Congress Kaduna Strike


The National Industrial Court in Abuja has restrained the Judicial Commission of Inquiry set up by the Kaduna State Government from investigating the recent warning strike by the Nigerian Labour Congress in the state.

The NLC and its affiliate unions in Kaduna State had embarked on a five-day warning strike over the recent disengagement of civil servants by the state government.

The strike virtually shut down the state until Nigeria’s government prevailed on both parties to sheathe their swords and sit for negotiation in Abuja.

The NLC President, Ayuba Wabba, later announced the suspension of the strike “to honour the invitation of the Federal Government to mediate in the dispute between labour and the Kaduna State Government.”

El-Rufai, however, set up a seven-member Judicial Commission, headed by a judge, Ishaq Bello with 14 terms of reference, including determining the legality of the strike and any breach of the relevant laws on trade disputes and essential services.

Delivering a judgment on Friday, Honourable justice Obaseki of the National Industrial Court granted an order of court restraining the commission of inquiry “from enquiring into, deliberating upon, investigating, procuring evidence, whether by compelling the attendance before it (by issuance of witness summon (es) or warrant (s) of arrest or howsoever members of the 1st claimant.”

The lawyer to labour, Femi Falana, SAN had prayed for court orders “setting aside the establishment of the 3rd defendant/respondent as constituted by the 1st defendant/respondent and as comprised of the 4th to 12th defendants/respondents or by whomsoever else the Judicial Commission of Inquiry might hereafter be variously presided over, until the determination of the claimants’/applicants’ Motion for Interlocutory Injunction filed contemporaneously with the filing of this ex-parte application, or further order.

“AN ORDER OF INTERIM INJUNCTION restraining the 3rd defendant/respondent as constituted by the 1st defendant/respondent and presided over by the 3rd defendant/respondent or by whomsoever else the Judicial Commission of Inquiry might hereafter be variously presided over and otherwise constituted, from enquiring into, deliberating upon, investigating, or from continuing to enquire into, deliberate upon, investigate, or from further enquiring into, deliberating upon, investigating, procuring evidence, whether by compelling the attendance before it (by issuance of witness summons(es) or Warrant(s) of arrest, or howsoever otherwise), members of the 1st claimant/applicant or other members of the public to tender any evidence or render assistance to the 3rd defendant/respondent in its enquiries, deliberations, determinations, investigation, in relation to the activities of the 1st claimant/respondent of May 16 2021 to May 19 2021 or any other related activity of the 1st claimant/respondent arising therefrom or connected thereto, until the determination of the claimants/applicants’ Motion for Interlocutory Injunction filed contemporaneously with the filing of this ex parte application, or further order.

“AN ORDER OF INTERIM INJUNCTION restraining the 3rd defendant/respondent from giving effect to and/or acting pursuant to the powers contained in the Terms of Reference of the 3rd Defendant dated 6th July 2021 as set up by the 1st Defendant under the Commissions of Inquiry Law (Cap 34), Laws of Kaduna State of Nigeria, until the determination of the claimants’/applicants’ Motion for Interlocutory Injunction filed contemporaneously with the filing of this ex-parte application, or further order.

“AN ORDER OF INTERIM INJUNCTION restraining the defendants, whether acting by themselves, their servants, agents, privies or otherwise howsoever, from inviting, ascertaining, examining, procuring evidence, summoning, subpoenaing, making orders as to cost and compelling members of the 1st claimant/applicant to attend any hearing session, meeting, “trial”, interrogation, investigation, panel session, howsoever called, in relation to, and/or connected with the 1st claimant/applicant’s warning strike of May 16 2021 to May 19 2021, and the actions and events associated with it, until the determination of the claimants’/applicants’ Motion for Interlocutory Injunction filed contemporaneously with the filing of this ex-parte application, or further order.

“AN ORDER of this Honourable Court granting leave to the claimants/applicants to issue and serve the Originating Summons and every other court processes in this suit on the defendants/respondents in Kaduna, out of the jurisdiction of this Honourable Court, via Kaduna State Government House, Kaduna, Kaduna State.”

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