Yesterday, the Federal Government criticized the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) for its strike notice, calling it illegal and contemptuous of the court. The NLC, led by Joe Ajaero and Emmanuel Ugboaja, had called on Nigerian workers to prepare for a nationwide protest on August 2 to protest the increase in fuel prices. The Federal Ministry of Justice, represented by Solicitor General Mrs. B.E. Jedy-Agba, issued a statement pointing out that the seven-day notice for the industrial action ignores the ongoing court case, NICN/ABJ/158/2023.
The court had granted an injunction restraining the NLC and Trade Union Congress from any planned industrial action, pending a decision on the Motion on Notice. The issues that triggered the court action, such as fuel subsidy removal and the cost of living increase, are the same ones over which the NLC issued another strike notice.
The statement emphasized the NLC’s submission to the court’s jurisdiction and its representation by the reputable law firm of Femi Falana, urging the union to respect the court’s authority and avoid resorting to self-help. The government expressed concern over the NLC’s behavior towards the judiciary, citing earlier derogatory remarks by the NLC president against the court.