We at the Nigeria Labour Congress are concerned by the frequent issuance of ex-parte  injunctions restraining us from lawfully  protesting against negative policies of government or employers in exercise of our right as contained in the  provisions of ILO Conventions, Trade Union Act, Trade Dispute Act, the 1999 Constitution, the African Charter on Human Rights and other legal instruments.

This was stated in a press statement issued by the NLC president on Friday.

According to the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Joe Ajaero, the latest of these  injunctions was the order made  by Honourable Justice O.Y. Anuwe in Suit No: NICN/ABJ/158/2023 between the Federal Government of Nigeria & Anor Vs. Nigeria Labour Congress & Anor. on the 5th day of June 2023 restraining NLC from protesting against the massive increase in the pump price of pms.

We consider the frequency of these orders against the Congress  an abuse and a  violation of the pronouncement of  the Supreme Court  against frivolous use of ex parte.

More importantly, we consider these injunctions a violation of the extant laws aforementioned as  well as an infringement  of our right to lawful assembly and free speech.

We are similarly concerned by the conduct of pliant Judges who often bend backward to accommodate the whims and caprices of the executive branch of government by way of granting frivolous injunctions which we shall hereinafter refer to as black market injunctions.

We must warn that black market injunctions constitute inherent and present danger to the  image of the judiciary  as the judiciary risks being ignored.

Given our experience, the greatest threat to the judiciary comes from within the judiciary by way of some compromised Judicial Officers.

We are sounding a note of warning that any further black market or jankara injuction will not be respected by us. To show our caoacity and resolve, we will show active resistance by picketing such court.

We are also letting the public  know that we have taken precipitate steps to vacate the extant injunction in question by briefing our lawyers.

We wish to warn that when the citizenry lose faith in the judiciary, the probability of resorting to self-help could be quite high with unpredictable consequences.

In light of these, we are calling on the Supreme Court and indeed NJC to speedily deal with erring Judges who issue frivolous injunctions.

*Comrade Joe Ajaero*

About Francis Xavier 44 Articles
a political analyst and 9News Nigeria Abuja correspondent.

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