Civil society groups yesterday warned President Goodluck Jonathan against dragging the judiciary into labour dispute with what it called “black market injunctions.”
They also demanded the dismissal of the President of the National Industrial Court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo and other judges who issued the injunction on Friday stopping the proposed strike action on Monday by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
The groups, which made their position known in a statement in Abuja, said the administration of President Jonathan will be held responsible if the “black market injunction” changes the non-violent context of the present struggle.
The statement was signed by Festus Okoye (Human Rights Monitor); Y.Z Yau (CITAD); Anyakwee Nsirimov (Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law); Innocent Chukwuma (CLEEN Foundation); Funke Aluko (Centre for Genders Rights Protection); Emma Ezeazu (Alliance for Credible Elections); Saviour Akpan (Community Policing Partners); and Faruk Umar, Secretary, Transparency in Nigeria.
The statement said: “The Federal Government in an attempt to abort the general strike and mass rallies planned by organised labour for Monday claimed it has obtained a “black market injunction” to restrain the labour movement from proceeding with the said strike and rallies.
“It is rather unfortunate that the Federal Government rather than heed to the popular wish of the Nigerian people is hell bent on subverting the challenge to its very unpopular decision.
“It is also unfortunate that a government that claims to be championing the rule of law and due process will use underhand tactics to obtain a black market injunction knowing full well that such an injunction and orders made therein are unenforceable and may lead to a street confrontation.”
The groups called on the “the National Assembly to reconvene and side with the Nigerian people in their hour of need. The National Assembly must speak clearly and pass resolutions demanding a return to the status quo. The National Assembly must isolate anti democratic forces who want to subvert Nigerian democracy in favour of quick cash and quick fixes.”
It also urged the NBA to champion the campaign for the removal of all the members of the National Industrial Court that granted the injunction.