The Federal Government took legal action against the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Wednesday for contempt due to their defiance of an existing interim order that prohibited the organized labor from engaging in any industrial action.
The Solicitor-General of the Federation and Permanent Secretary, Beatrice Jedy-Agba, had previously stated the illegality of the industrial action by the organized labor.
Despite the warning, the NLC and TUC proceeded with protests nationwide.
The lawsuit, with reference NICN/ABJ/158/2023, was initiated by the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation as the applicants, and the NLC and TUC as the defendants.
Specific individuals within the NLC and TUC, including NLC President Joe Ajaero, Deputy Presidents Audu Aruba, Prince Adeyanju Adewale, and Kabiru Sani, as well as General Secretary Emmanuel Ugboaja, and TUC President Engr Festus Usifo and Scribe/Chief Executive Nuhu Toro, were named in the suit.
The legal action was taken to address the defiant actions of the labor unions during the industrial action.
The contempt notice signed by Senior Registrar, Balogun Olajide, reads:
“Take notice that unless you obey the directions contained in the order of the National Industrial Court, Abuja, delivered by Honourable Justice Y. Anuwe on June 5, 2023, as per the attached enrolled order, you will be guilty of contempt of court and will be liable to be committed to Prison.
“Having therefore considered the totality of this application, I make the following orders: The defendants/Respondents are hereby~ restrained from embarking on the planned Industrial Action/or strike of any nature pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice dated June 5, 2023.
“It is ordered that the defendant/Respondents be immediately served with the originating processes in this suit, the Motion on Notice and the order of this court hereby made.
“The Motion on Notice is hereby fixed for hearing on June 19, 2023. The Hearing Notices to that effect shall be served on the defendants/Respondent along with the other processes.”
The FG also attached a copy of the exparte order made by Justice Anuwe on June 5, 2023, to the notice of contempt proceeding forwarded to the NLC and TUC officials.