Resident doctors reject court order to suspend strike, set to appeal ruling

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The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has rejected the ruling of the national industrial court directing the association to suspend its strike “with immediate effect”.

The resident doctors, in a communique, said its lawyers will appeal the ruling and file a stay of application.The doctors embarked on strike on August 2 over “irregular payment of salaries”, among other issues.Bashir Alkali, the judge, in his ruling on Friday, said the federal government was able to show that lives will be lost if the application is not granted.

“It is my firm belief that if the court does not intervene at this stage, there is no amount of money that can compensate for the lives of Nigerians who would lose their lives if the members of the defendants continue with their strike,” the judge ruled.Reacting to the development, NARD, in a communique jointly signed by Uyilawa Okhuaihesuyi, its president, and Jerry Isogun, its secretary-general, accused the court of denying the doctors fair hearing by refusing to hear their objection, before taking the government’s application for interlocutory injunction.The association asked its members to remain calm and resolute, adding that justice shall be served at the end of the day.

“As we are all aware, especially those that were present in court today (Friday), the NIC has given a ruling on the application for interlocutory injunction filed by the Federal Government,” the statement reads.“We are not satisfied with the ruling. After consultations with our lawyers, we have instructed our lawyers to appeal the ruling and file an application for stay of execution.“Also, our lawyers drew the attention of the court to our application for stay of execution of the ex parte order and that the court should take that application first. The court insisted that the government application would be taken first.“On 15/9/21, the court ordered all parties to resume negotiations. The government refused to resume negotiations in line with the order of 23/8/21. Our lawyers reported this development to the court. We have demonstrated good faith and would continue to do so.”

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