By Ibraheem Solahudeen.
The National Industrial Court in Akure, the capital of Ondo State, Monday granted an exparte order restraining the labour unions in Kwara State from proceeding on an industrial strike over disagreements on the signing and implementation of the minimum wage.
The organized labour in the State, rising from an emergency meeting earlier today had insisted on carrying on with the industrial action beginning tomorrow, Tuesday.
But ruling on an ex parte motion brought before it by the Attorney General of Kwara State and Commissioner for Justice, Ayinla Salman Jawondo, the Akure Division of the Industrial Court ruled against a strike by the Kwara labour unions.
Ruling in an affidavit filed at the industrial court in the suit No NICN/AK/53/2020, Justice D.K. Damulak ordered the unions to stay action on the proposed strike.
The court, among other things, granted an order of interim injunction restraining the “defendants/ respondents jointly and severally by themselves, their agents, servants, employees, workmen, privies or authorities how so ever described from declaring any strike or industrial action or embarking on the planned industrial action of any nature effective on the 12th and/or 13th day of October, 2020 or at any other date pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction.”
It also granted an order restraining the defendants from taking further steps in respect of the subject matter of the suit pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice and another order for substituted service of the originating summons and any order of the court.
The government is asking the court to declare that the local government is a separate tier of government with its own financial autonomy and which wages could not be determined by the state government, irrespective of some oversight powers the state government may have on them — just as the federal government also has some oversight powers on the states.
The case may go down in Nigerian history as the first of such which seeks to assert the financial autonomy and quasi-independence of the local government as a tier of government.
The court has adjourned to October 20 to hear the motion.