The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja has ordered the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to call off its ongoing industrial action.
Justice Bashar Alkali, the presiding judge, gave the order on Friday while ruling on an application by the Federal Government in the suit against NARD.
Tochukwu Maduka (SAN), lawyer for the Federal Government, had urged the court to grant an order of interlocutory injunction restraining the defendant from continuing with the industrial action pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
He also prayed the court to compel the members of NARD nationwide to return to their duty posts pending the determination of the substantive suit, arguing that resident doctors, as persons who provide essential services, cannot go on strike and continuing to do so will have a negative toll on citizens.
However, Robinson Ariyo, counsel for NARD, opposed the application for interlocutory injunction and urged the court to discountenance their application.
According to Ariyo, the life of a medical doctor is not less useful than the life of an average human being.
Ruling on the matter, Justice Alkali granted the prayers of the Federal Government and restrained the doctors from going on with their strike pending the determination of the substantive suit before the court.
The judge held that there is no amount of money that will compensate for the loss of lives in the circumstances.
Resident doctors in Nigeria under the aegis of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) commenced an indefinite strike on August 2 over the alleged inability of the government to meet the association’s 12-point demand.
The Federal Government had through a statement issued by Charles Akpan, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, on 20 August, announced that it had reached a new agreement with the doctors in a bid to end the three-week-old strike carried out by the latter.