The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja, on Monday, ordered the National Association of Resident Doctors to suspend its strike, which commenced on August 2, 2021.

Justice John Targema made the order while delivering his ruling on an ex parte application brought before the court by the Federal Government.

The court stated that the application was granted after carefully considering the processes filed by the applicants.

But NARD, in its reaction, said it would not suspend the strike despite the court ruling.

Earlier, Justice Targema had stated, “Having looked especially at the affidavit of extreme urgency, the grounds of the application, the affidavit in support of the same and arguments of counsel for the applicant, I also weighed the submissions and arguments of counsel on the law as it stands on this application, it is hereby ordered that the claimant/applicant and the defendant/respondent suspend all forms of hostilities forthwith pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice.”

He also ordered the issuance and service of hearing notice for the motion on notice to be served.

The judge added, “This matter is accordingly adjourned to September 15, 2021 for hearing of the motion on notice and/or any other pending application.

“The hearing notice and the originating processes be issued and served on the defendant/respondent. Proof of service of the same should be filed in the case file before the adjourned date.”

Recall that the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Labour and Employment, had filed an ex parte motion praying the court for an interlocutory injunction restraining the members of NARD in all the states of the federation from continuing with the strike action.

In the affidavit supporting its application, the Federal Government had argued that the matter at stake bordered on life and death, and was an urgent one, which needed the court’s intervention.

It stated that the strike, which has lasted  three weeks, had caused untold suffering to the people and accounted for the death of persons who could not access the medical services provided by the respondents.

NARD had earlier stated that the strike action was as a result of the government’s failure to meet its demands as contained in the Memorandum of Action endorsed by both parties in 2014.

PUNCH