Tag: court order

NLC

Court Refuses to Grant Fresh Order Against Labour’s Planned Strike

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja on Monday, November 5, rejected a request for a fresh order stopping the organised labour from embarking on its planned indefinite strike scheduled to commence Tuesday, November 6.

The court presided over by Justice Sanusi Kado also refused to grant a prayer for an order to compel the government to immediately commence the process of adopting N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.

Justice Kado said it would be unnecessary to make another order stopping labour from embarking on the planned strike having earlier made a similar one in a case brought to the court by the Federal Government last Friday, November 2.

The Federal Government had filed its suit following the threat by the organised labour, comprising the National Labour Congress, the Trade Union Congress, and the United Labour Congress, to embark on strike if its demand for increase in the national minimum wage from N18,000 to N30,000 was not met.

Contrary to the labour’s demand, the Federal Government said it could only pay N24,000 as minimum wage and the state governors under the aegis of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum, had stuck to N22,500.

The lingering dispute between government and the labour prompted the Federal Government to seek and obtain the court order stopping the strike last Friday, November 2.

But the fresh ex parte application seeking to stop labour from embarking on the strike and to also compel government to commence the process of paying the N30,000 minimum wage was filed by a civil society group, Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International.

The group’s lawyer, Mr. Okere Nnamdi, at the Monday’s proceedings, informed the court that he had filed his client’s ex parte motion alongside other processes on November 1.

He urged the court to grant the prayers, including the one seeking an order of substituted service of the court processes on the governors joined as the 10th to the 45th defendants in the suit.

But the judge immediately cut in, asking the lawyer if it would still be necessary to proceed to hear the application, in view of the Friday’s order made by the same court.

Okere conceded that he was aware of the order made by the judge on Friday, November 2.

But he insisted that his ex parte motion was different from that of the Federal Government, save for the prayer seeking an order stopping the planned strike, which is contained in both applications.

He said two prayers contained in his motion seeking an order of substituted service of the court processes filed in the case on the 36 state governors and the one seeking an order compelling the federal and state governments to commence the process of paying the N30,000 minimum wage differentiated his motion from that of the Federal Government.

Responding, Justice Kado said an order of interim injunction could only be granted if there was an urgency, there was the need to preserve the subject matter of the dispute and the defendants could not be served.

The judge noted that the court having, on Friday, granted an order stopping the strike, it was no longer any form of urgency in the matter, and as such, it was not necessary to compel the government to start the process of adopting the N30,000 as the new national minimum wage.
Following the judge’s explanation, the plaintiff’s lawyer applied to withdraw two of the prayers having to do with the request for an order stopping the planned strike and the other seeking to compel the government to pay N30,000.

Court Stops NLC, TUC’s Planned Strike

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) sitting in Abuja has restrained the organised labour from proceeding on its planned nationwide indefinite industrial action.

Justice Sanusi Kado gave the order on Friday while delivering a ruling on an ex-parte application restraining the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) from embarking on the strike scheduled to commence on November 6.

The judge granted the application pending the determination of the substantive suit filed by the Federal Government and the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) against both unions.

Justice Sanusi also restrained the NLC, the TUC and the Incorporated Trustees of the Nigerian Governors Forum (listed as the first, second, and third defendants) from taking steps capable of destroying the subject of the dispute.

He said he was moved to granting the ex-parte application argued by the Solicitor General of the Federation (SGF), Dayo Apata, because of the likely devastating effect of the strike on the nation, its economy and the people.

The hearing of the main suit has been fixed for November 8.

The organised labour is demanding N30,000 as a new minimum wage for workers in the country, as against the existing N18,000.

Following a series of negotiations and meetings between the government and labour leaders which ended in a deadlock, the NLC and TUC threatened to embark on a fresh nationwide strike on Tuesday next week.

The unions had explained that the decision was necessary following what they described as the government’s unwillingness to implement a new minimum wage for workers in the country.

Reacting to the new minimum wage demanded by the workers, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum said most states lacked the capacity to pay such an amount.

The governors who said some of their colleagues were still struggling to pay the existing N18,000, however, agreed to pay N22,500.

This was strongly rejected by labour leaders who had insisted that there was no going back on their decision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Police Ordered to Pay N1m to Magistrate for Violation of Human Rights

A Kano State High Court, on Wednesday, October 31, ordered the Nigerian Police Force to pay N1 million as compensation to a magistrate, Hajara Hamza, for violating her fundamental rights.

The Judge, Justice Ibrahim Karaye, gave the order in his ruling on the case instituted on March 8, 2018.

Hamza had prayed the court to order the police to offer her public apology and pay restitution for violating her dignity and right to personal liberty as guaranteed under section 34(1) and 35(1) of Nigeria’s Constitution.

Joined in the suit were the Kano State Commissioner of Police, the DPO Naibawa police station and one Sgt. Umar of Naibawa police station.

Counsel to the complainant, Haruna Saleh, had told the court that his client, on Dec.10, 2017 boarded a commercial vehicle from Abuja to Kano and “while they were on their way, a lady in the vehicle complained that her phone was missing.”

He added that a police woman in the vehicle who was also a passenger searched everyone in the vehicle including his client and nothing was found on her.

Karaye also said that on reaching Kano the vehicle headed straight to Naibawa police station, where the first respondent, Sgt. Umar, asked his client to identify herself, which she did.

He further told the court that in spite of that, the police still went ahead to detain her, thereby, violating her right to freedom.

However, throughout the trial, the police did not make an appearance before the court, even though the proof of service on them were presented to the court.

The judge, therefore, ordered the three respondents to pay the complainant N1 million for the violation of her fundamental human right.

Army to Pay Actress N1.25m for Assault

A Federal High Court sitting in Port Harcourt on Friday, October 26, ordered the Nigerian Army to pay the sum of N1, 250,000 and publish a written apology in at least two national dailies to a Nollywood actress, Ebere Ohakwe, as compensation after she was beaten up by men of the Nigerian Army in February 2017.

Ohakwe, popularly known as Jewel Infinity, was travelling in a public bus from Port Harcourt, Rivers State to Onitsha, Anambra State when operatives of the Nigerian Army stationed at Omagwa axis of the Port Harcourt Airport Road stopped the vehicle for a routine stop-and-search and, in the process, physically assaulted her.

The Federal High Court presided over by Justice Adamu Mohammed had earlier ruled on the matter in March 2018.

Mohammed had ordered the defendants (Nigerian Army) to pay the sum of N1m to the plaintiff as compensation for infringing on her fundamental human rights.

But the Nigerian Army through its counsel filed an application to the court to set aside the judgment and resume fresh hearing.

Counsel for the plaintiff, Chime Chime, in a counter-application, urged the court to dismiss the defendant’s submission.

Mohammed, however, struck out the application of the Nigerian Army, stating that it lacked merit.

The judge awarded N250,000 against the defendants in addition to N1m the security outfit was expected to pay to the victim, as well as a written apology to her to be published in at least two national dailies.

 

 

 

 

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Ozubulu Killings: Court Grants Nonagenarian Native Doctor, Others Bail

An Ozubulu Magistrate’s court has granted bail to a 94 year-old native doctor and high priest of the dreaded Ndekwulu deity in the community and five others, charged following their alleged involvement in gruesome killings of some sons and daughters of Ozubulu at home and in the Diaspora.

Reports have it that some concerned Ozubulu youths including their executives who were allegedly miffed by a series of killings of their kith and kins at home and in South Africa especially took the matter up, that every citizen agreed for any lawful move to be adopted to stop the carnage.

They, however, went before the Ndekwulu shrine in the town, listing some names including even police officers, legal officers, community leaders, church leaders and others allegedly invoking the anger of the gods on any one it considered in any way involved in the series of murders.

They were immediately arrested, while a son of the community Kennel Ernest who we learnt was not involved in the action of the youths but because someone wanted his name and reputation imperiled was inexplicably listed.

Those arrested included Emeka Anaekwe, Anazo Ilomuanya, Ifediora Aloysius, Igbokwe Nnanyeleze and Okoli Appollo Udegbunam.

After their arrest and following the magistrate’s court’s ruling on the bail conditions requiring a letter of recognition from the traditional ruler or the community’s President General (PG), from each surety that must be from within the jurisdiction of the court.

These conditions were met but the monarch and the PG allegedly declined to sign in order to ensure their release. Consequently they were compelled to seek sureties from outside Ozubulu.

Following this development, complainants, Mr. Aloysius Ikegwuonu, aka “Bishop” and others presented a hold of execution citing irregularities on the part of the sureties and requirements hence, they cannot comply in signing or confirming these individuals to stand as sureties on behalf of the accused persons.

The case was therefore moved to a High Court for bail variation.

But the presiding judge discarded the bail conditions variation request and other averment as unconstitutional.

The police again filed a motion to stay execution of bail stating that the judge was biased and referred the case to Court of Appeal.

On the date of appeal hearing at Enugu, the judge ruled that never in history have they received a case on variation of bail. As such, ruled with ultimatum that the case be withdrawn with immediate effect.

 

 

 

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Court

Court Orders Police to Pay N10m to Businessman Over Violation of Human Rights

The Federal High Court, Maitama Abuja, on Monday ordered the Nigeria Police Force, to pay N10million as compensation to one Aondofa Shenge, for violating his fundamental human rights.

The judge, Justice John Tsoho, in his judgment, also restrained the police from further arrest and detention of Shenge.

Tsoho upheld the prayers of the counsel to the applicant, Mr Matthew Onoja, and dismissed the preliminary objection raised by counsel to the police, Mr Matthew Omosun.

Onoja had earlier told the court that his client was arrested by some police officers in Makurdi in August 2017, and held in detention for more than a year without charges.

Onoja said his client who is a businessman, was arrested and detained in the NPF Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) office in Makurdi, until January 2018 when he was formally transferred to Abuja.

He said when the police failed to release the applicant on bail, the matter was taken to the court.

Onoja said the case of fundamental human rights abuse was formally filed in April 2018.

The lawyer maintained that the case was filed to challenge the Inspector General of Police and his deputy on arrest and detention of the applicant from August 2017 until date.

He said the matter first came up on April 20, before the court went on vacation, and the respondent did not file any process, even after the vacation.

Onoja said this further led to adjourning the case until Oct. 3 for hearing.

“On that date, we indicated our interest to go on with the matter since we had already filed our processes but counsel to the NPF said he was not ready,’’ Onoja said.

He also said that counsel to the police, Omosun told the court that he was yet to file his processes, working behind the scene to ensure that the applicant was granted bail.

He said that as the case progressed, counsel to the police later filed application for preliminary objection; which the court dismissed on point of law.

CHARLY BOY

Court Orders Police to Pay Charly Boy N50m Damages

The Federal High Court in Abuja on Monday ordered the Nigeria Police Force to pay to the popular entertainer, Mr Charles Oputa, also known as Charly Boy, the sum of N50m as compensation for violation of his rights during the ‘Resume or Resign’ protest which he convened on August 8, 2018.

Charly Boy had convened the protest to ask President Muhammadu Buhari, who was then on a protracted medical vacation in London, the United Kingdom, to either resume or resign from office.

Alleging that the police violated his rights during the protest, Charly Boy said policemen used tear gas canisters, water cannon and wild police dogs to harass and disperse him and his fellow protesters during the peaceful demonstration at the Unity Fountain in Maitama, Abuja.

He said he collapsed and was rushed to the hospital after the alleged harassment by the police.

Oputa, through his lawyer, Mr  Inibehe Effiong, filed the fundamental human rights enforcement suit against the police in March 2018, urging the court to hold that the treatment meted out to him was unjustifiable, illegal, and unconstitutional.

He urged the court to hold that the treatment by the police constituted a breach of his fundamental human rights to the dignity of the human person, freedom of expression, peaceful assembly and association and contrary to Sections 34, 39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended).

He maintained that it also violated his rights as enshrined under Articles 5, 9, 10 and 11 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act, Cap. A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.”

Delivering judgment in the suit on Monday, Justice John Tsoho ordered the Nigeria Police Force, along with the Inspector-General of Police, Mr Ibrahim Idris, and the Commissioner of Police, the Federal Capital Territory Command, to pay the sum of N50m to Oputa and apologise to him in two national newspapers.

The judge held that there was no evidence that miscreants hijacked the premises of the protest as alleged by the police.

He ruled that the applicant was entitled to stage the protest which he ruled was his constitutionally guaranteed right provided it was a peaceful procession.

The judge added even if miscreants were on the scene to hijack the protest, the police should have deployed the appropriate security measures to dislodge such persons and maintain law and order.

The judge ruled, “Relief 4 is granted and the respondents are ordered to publish an apology to the applicant in two national newspapers for violating his fundamental rights.

“The sum of N50m is awarded against the respondents as general and exemplary damages.’’

The court also ordered a perpetual injunction restraining the respondents from violating the fundamental rights to dignity of the human person, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and association.

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VARSITY ADMISSIONS & ILLEGALITY

It is, indeed, very disturbing that against the background of the recent verdict of a Federal High Court in Abuja outlawing the conduct of post-University Tertiary Matriculation Examination (post-UTME) in the country, the Federal Government is still talking about conducting the test for this year’s admission exercise into tertiary institutions. This is unacceptable in a democracy where the rule of law should be sacrosanct.

What example is the government setting by standing the law on its head every now and then? What hope is there when the rule of law is trampled upon? Government should learn to obey court orders to save this country from turning into a banana republic where lawlessness is the norm.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, recently announced the conduct of this year’s post-UTME against all legal injunctions. The announcement was made during this year’s Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) Policy Meeting on Admissions into Tertiary Institutions at Gbongan, Osun State.

Adamu also cautioned the tertiary institutions against illegal admissions. But how the minister could be disobeying a court order on one hand and at the same time advocating compliance with legality on another hand is ridiculous and amounts to double standards.

Whereas the institutions are being forced to follow laid down rules, the minister should do also likewise.

Besides, warning the institutions against charging more than N2000 for the post-UTME examination is uncalled for as the cost of living is not the same across the country. The point is that there should be no post-UTME in the first place.

A lot has been said about the flaws inherent in the post-UTME exercise. That the institutions are using it to make money rather than ensuring quality is well known. Aside from being a burden on parents and guardians, many candidates have lost their lives in fatal accidents travelling to take the test.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had, last March, declared the post-Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (Post-UTME) conducted by universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in Nigeria illegal, saying there was no extant law authorising the exercise.

The judgment was delivered following a suit filed by the Legal Defence and Assistance Project (LEDAP) against the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMB, the Minister of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC).

Justice John Tsoho held that the defendants have no power to allow or direct tertiary institutions to conduct further screening of candidates after they had taken the examination required by law for admission into universities.

Furthermore, the court held that only the Joint Admissions and Matriculations Board could conduct matriculation examinations and give admissions into tertiary institutions by virtue of Section 5 (1) (2) of the JAMB Act.

The court then issued a perpetual injunction restraining all tertiary institutions in the country from conducting the Post-UTME or any other form of admission screening tests.

JAMB, in opposing the suit argued that the Legal Defence and Assistance Project had no locus standi to institute the action but the court rejected the objection and held that a registered non-governmental organisation (NGO) or an activist lawyer is allowed by law to pursue in court, the right of the largely ignorant members of the society.

LEDAP had submitted that Section 5 (1) (2) of the JAMB Act provides that the body should conduct matriculation examinations for admissions into all tertiary institutions.

Subsection (2) (3) provides thus: “JAMB shall be responsible for determining matriculation requirements and conducting examinations leading to undergraduate admissions and also for admission to National Diploma and the Nigerian Certificate in Education courses.”

The plaintiff noted that since 2005, tertiary institutions nationwide had been illegally conducting tests and screening candidates seeking admission in violation of Section 5 (10) (2) of the JAMB Act.

The court agreed with the plaintiff and further held that the defendants had the responsibility to ensure compliance with the JAMB Act and that the imposition of the post-UTME on candidates seeking admission was illegal and unlawful.

It is, however, curious that JAMB, whose mandate and credibility is being protected by the judgment, opposed such.

Given the subsisting judgment, which has not been vacated by any court of law, of what essence is the proposal to conduct another post-UTME?

Why are Nigerians still talking about post-UTME since neither JAMB nor the National Universities Commission (NUC) nor any tertiary institution is known to have appealed the case. Unless vacated, the verdict has to be obeyed whether any institution likes it or not. The institutions should therefore be allowed to carry out their admission exercises using JAMB scores and other academic criteria recognised by the law.

Government, of course, should not be disobeying court orders. Disobeying the courts is contemptuous of the judiciary, undermines the rule of law and erodes the foundation of democracy.

Culled from The Guardian Nigeria