NHRC obtains court order to stop staff strike action
The union had threatened to embark on an industrial action from July 16.
This is in protest for the payment of arrears arising from the new national minimum wage and their investigations allowances.
In a motion ex parte with suit number NICN/ABJ/159/2020, the NHRC prayed the National Industrial Court to stop the Nigeria Civil Service Union, the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NHRC unit), the Chairman of the union, Efem Atu; and is Secretary, Kurugh Bem; from embarking on strike.
It sought three reliefs which includes an order of interim injunction restraining the respondents, their agents, proxies and affiliates from indefinitely withdrawing their services, shutting down the offices of the NHRC nationwide or embarking on industrial action from Wednesday, July 15, 2020.
The commission also sought an interim injunction to prevent the respondents from gathering. Justice E.N Agbakoba, who granted the ex parte order said,
“The defendants are hereby restrained by themselves, agents, privies, proxies, affiliates or servants whosoever named deriving authority from them from indefinitely withdrawing their services from the applicant’s offices, shutting down any of the applicant’s offices or embarking on any industrial action of any sort pending the determination of the motion on notice filed by the court.”
Prof. Chidi Odinkalu, a former Chairman of the NHRC, took to Twitter to post the court papers on Twitter
He said that it was ironic that the agency established with the aim of protecting and advancing the rights of citizens could secure such a court order.
“In a starkly ironic twist today in Abuja, NHRC procured an ex parte order from the National Industrial Court without a return date precluding its staff union from exercising their trade union rights.”