NARD strike: Court fixes ruling Friday as parties return to negotiation table

The National Industrial Court, Abuja, has fixed Friday for ruling in a suit between the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) and the Federal Government.

This is as the two parties have agreed to negotiation, according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

Justice Bashar Alkali fixed the date after the parties’ counsel made their submissions which bordered on court jurisdiction and contempt proceeding.

The judge said the parties should return to the negotiation table as stated by their counsel before the next adjourned date.

The Federal Government’s counsel, Tochukwu Maduka, SAN,  informed the court that subject to its convenience, they were ready to take their motion on notice, which had been filed with motion ex parte.

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In his response, NARD’s counsel, Femi Falana, SAN, said the claimant came behind his client’s back to approach the court for accelerated hearing in the matter which was initially adjourned until September 22.

He added that the application was granted and hearing of motion on notice, and that pending applications were therefore set to be taken.

In addition, he said that they had filed and served an application challenging the jurisdiction of the court, arguing that the application should take top priority before any other application.

He also said the application should be taken since the claimant did not challenge the application served on them by way of counter-affidavit in a written address.

Maduka, however, objected that although applications were slated to be taken, he informed the court that there was contempt proceeding for committal filed on September 14 before the court that ought to be taken before any other application.

He said that the committal proceeding application was for the refusal of the claimant to obey court order. He said that where the issue of contempt was raised in law, it ought to take top priority before the issue of jurisdiction.

But in concluding his argument, Falana prayed the court to make an order to direct the parties to return to the negotiation table, in line with the previous order as granted by the court ordering parties to cease all forms of hostility.

He assured the court that his client was ready to cease hostility and return to the negotiation table.

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