The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has reacted to the recent characterization of the National Industrial Court (NIC) as irresponsible and pathetic by Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai.
Information Nigeria reported that El-Rufai had during a recent interview on Channels Television disparaged the judiciary as a pathetic system that elevates crooks.
The governor noted that the government of Kaduna State had not been able to convict people that stole state funds because courts were making the process difficult.
“In Kaduna State, the corruption perception is much lower than in other states. We have taken measures. We have made examples of people in public service. We have sacked those that were found to be fiddling with public funds.
“We are prosecuting them, we have not convicted anybody because the judicial system is just pathetic—is too slow and in my view often on the side of the crooks rather than on the side of the government or the innocents”, El-Rufai said.
Ayuba Wabba, the NLC President, who reacted to the comments in a statement on Saturday, branded El-Rufai’s allegations as spurious and prejudicial.
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The statement read: “The disparaging comments by Governor El-Rufai about the judiciary, in particular the NICN on a national television platform which was aired recently are irresponsible, unbecoming, and dangerous because they are capable of undermining our public institutions. They also represent the height of flippant commentary.
“The allegations against the National Industrial Court are spurious, mischievous, malicious and prejudicial and reveal the extent of El-Rufai’s bigotry, and ignorance in simple judicial matters as the NICN could not have stopped him from pursuing the criminal aspect or content of his complaint.
“His comments present him as a governor who neither believes in rules nor systems. Right wing extremism which El-Rufai represents is dangerous to our democracy because it does not believe in rules or laws other than its own rules and laws and seeks to destroy that which it cannot control.”
“It is important to stress that employment relations between employers (be it government or private) are guided by rules and standards of the International Labour Organisation, the first specialised agency of the United Nations, and all member-nations are under obligation to respect and commit to those standards.
“In spite of the cases workers have lost at the court, the court continues to be a beacon of justice, refuge and hope through its numerous decisions; bold, creative, unbiased and courageous.
“In light of this, nothing should be done to undermine the authority of the NICN or any court for that matter. The role of the NICN in conflict resolution in the industrial relations conflict space has been unparalleled and epochal. Ditto its contribution to productivity.”