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Court rejects move to stop resident doctors’ strike

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The National Industrial Court in Abuja on Thursday rejected an application seeking to compel the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend its ongoing nationwide strike.

The resident doctors embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike on August 2 over grievances that include the delayed payment of salaries and allowances.

NARD said in a statement that salary shortfalls stretching over several months, failure to pay COVID-19 allowances and shortages of manpower in hospitals across the country, among others, pushed its members to strike.

A non-governmental organization, Rights for All International, had in an ex-parte application filed by one Nnamdi Okereke on August 16 urged the court to restrain the resident doctors from continuing their strike.

READ ALSO: Senate urges resident doctors to suspend strike

He accused the doctors, who he “classified as essential services workers,” of failing to explore available legal remedies before embarking on strike 18 days ago.

Justice John Targema, who delivered the ruling, said he would not issue such an order behind the back of the doctors and other parties listed in the suit.

He said: “Issuing a restraining order against the doctors to stop the strike without hearing them would be in breach of their right to a fair hearing.”

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