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Gov El-Rufai lacks power to declare Wabba wanted over strike – Falana



Rights activist, Femi Falana, on Tuesday mocked the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, for declaring the President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Ayuba Wabba, and other labour leaders wanted over the ongoing warning strike action in the state.

The labour on embarked on a five-day warning strike on Monday to protest the sack of some local government workers by the state gpvernment.

The strike has paralyzed activities in critical sectors in the state.

However, El-Rufai on Tuesday declared Wabba and other labour leaders wanted for leading the protest and crippling economic activities in the state.

Falana, who reacted to El-Rufai’s declaration in a statement, said it was laughable that a state governor could declare the labour leaders wanted for organising a peaceful protest against perceived injustice against the workers.

The action, according to him, contravened the provisions of the Miscellaneous Offences Act.

The statement read: “The declaration is laughable as it is common knowledge that Comrade Wabba and his colleagues are on the streets of Kaduna leading the peaceful protests embarked upon by the entire workers in the state since yesterday (Monday).

READ ALSO: El-Rufai orders dismissal of Kaduna varsity lecturers over strike

“The order of the governor cannot be enforced for the following reasons:

“By the combined effect of the Trade Union Act and the Nigerian Constitution, Comrade Wabba and other labour leaders have the unquestionable rights to participate in the peaceful warning strike and mass protests against further retrenchment of workers in the Kaduna State public service.

“The Miscellaneous Offences Act is not a state statute but a federal enactment. To that extent, if Governor El-Rufai has evidence that Comrade Wabba and other labour leaders have contravened any provisions of the Act, he is required to lodge a complaint in any of the police stations in Kaduna State.

“The governor lacks the power to declare any alleged offender wanted under the Act or any other law whatsoever.”

Falana, therefore, called the Nigeria Police Force and other security agencies to ignore El-Rufai’s declaration as it is not tenable in law.

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