ABUJA—The National Industrial Court has stopped the Federal Government from implementing the agreement it reached with the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU.
An order of interim injunction obtained from the court by the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MDCAN, in the suit number NICN/ABJ/177/2014, joined the Federal Ministry of Health, Federal Ministry of Labour and Attorney General of the Federation as defendants.
The court in the interim injunction given by the presiding judge, Justice M.N. Esowe, on June 27, 2014, restrained the defendants “from implementing, executing, carrying out or giving effect to the decisions, resolutions and agreements reached at a meeting held in Abuja, FCT, between the Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, and Heath care Professionals Associations, AHPA, on one hand and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF; Minister of Health; Chairman Salaries, Income and Wages Commission; and Head of Service of the Federation , and other top government functionaries on the other, on June 5 , 2014.”
The injunction further ordered that, “ no parties shall proceed to do any act in furtherance of any agreement reached by the parties, which arguments form the kernel or subject matter of this motion before the court.”
The court also barred MDCAN from embarking on any strike in protest against the said agreement.
It stated further: “Nobody or party in this case shall embark on any strike until the Motion or Notice which is already filed in this court is heard and determined.
“ This matter is now adjoined to the 10th July , 2014 for the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice.”
President of MDCAN, Dr Steven Oluwole, had deposed to an affidavit challenging the agreements reached between the Federal Government and JOHESU.
MDCAN went to court to challenge the implementation of a circular recently released by government, following the agitation of JOHESU which, among others, provides for the approval of consultancy positions for support staff; abolition of Deputy Chairman, Medical Advisory Committee position, and appointment of support staff as directors.
Other aspects of the agreement include referral of the following to the Yayale Ahmed Committee: elimination of medical teachers from eligibility for headship of teaching hospitals; and re-interpretation of “medically qualified,” which is a key phrase in the University Teaching Hospital Act.