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Contempt Suit: You Cannot Get A Court Order To Restrain Hunger – SAN Tells FG

The Federal Government filed a contempt case against the NLC and TUC for allegedly resisting an order restricting the unions from embarking on industrial action.



WhatsApp Image 2023 08 04 at 12.39.45
Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa and NLC

Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa says the court order and suit filed by the federal government against the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) does not have the capacity to curb the hunger and pains in the country.

“In fairness to the Federal Government, you cannot go to court in a matter like this. If we were to advise the Federal Government as lawyers because you cannot get a court order to restrain hunger, you cannot get a court order to restrain suffering,” Adegboruwa said on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Thursday.

The organised labour on Wednesday kicked off its protest against the “anti-people” policies of the President Bola Tinubu administration in the major parts of the country.

The Federal Government filed a contempt case against the NLC and TUC for allegedly resisting an order restricting the unions from embarking on industrial action.


According to organised labour on Wednesday, all workers in the private and public sectors across the country will appear at court proceedings in a contempt case preferred against organised labour by the Federal Government.

The SAN, however, stated that from the explanations given by labour, the protest was held in the exercise of their fundamental right under section 39 of the constitution and it should not be mistaken as a strike.

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The human rights activist speaking further noted that some of them in labour, in civil society organizations were not part of the case.


“The Federal Government did not sue the civil society organizations, the committee for the defence of human rights, or the organizations that were represented. We were not part of the suit and you see that we were part of the protest yesterday.

“So, I don’t think that there is any contempt in fairness. I do not support that any party should violate the order of a court but, in this particular case, there is a distinction in the sense that the strike is not what has been declared,” he said.

Adegboruwa added “Everything we are doing in this country is based on what all of us are experiencing. I buy fuel, I run a generator – so, there is no way you can pretend that these things are unreal.

“The option is to address them because a court is a technical place where you just make judgements, you give judgements, you make orders.


“It will not address my stomach, the salary of workers, the suffering of the masses of our people, the great collapses, and the darkness the government has imposed on us. So, I think the reality is for the government to engage them,” he said.

However, the human rights activists commended the President for his listening ears and engagement with organised labour to douse the tension.

He said it should go beyond engagement and returns.


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