Posted by News Express | 7 October 2020 | 767 times
President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Ayuba Wabba has asked courts to desist from issuing orders directed at restraining citizens from exercising their right to protest.
Waba expressed displeasure that, while citizens of developed countries are allowed to freely engage in protests, courts were in the habit of issuing injunctions to restrain Nigerians from expressing their aversion to unsavoury government policies.
He spoke in Abuja on Tuesday at a public lecture titled: “Dignity of labour and labour justice” organised by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) as part of activities celebrating its 2020/2021 legal year.
Waba, who spoke in relation to recent injunctions issued by judges of the NICN stopping strike actions by labour organisations, argued that workers, like other citizens, enjoy the fundamental right to protest.
He observed the twin concepts of dignity of labour and labour justice have consistently declined in value owing to the avaricious tendencies of the nation’s leaders and members of the political class.
The Catholic Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Reverend Father Matthew Kukah, argued it was impossible to ensure labour dignity and justice in a society abhors justice and equality for all.
Referring to verses of the Bible, Father Kukah urged the nation’s leaders to purge themselves of discriminatory tendencies and work to ensure societal justice and development.
Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, represented by Justice Uwani Abba Aji (of the Supreme Court), assured the judiciary would continue to uphold the right and dignity of the nation’s workforce.
The President of the NICN, Justice Benedict Kanyip, assured that his court, being a specialised one, would continue to work to protect labour dignity and justice.
“As a specialised court, so long as justice is not sacrificed, the dictates of labour justice requires that we be guided by principles of flexibility and speed when adjudicating.
“We have never ceased to stress that an employer cannot treat an employee shabbily and expect a pat on the back,” Kanyip said. (The Nation)
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