The National Industrial Court sitting in Abuja has moved its ruling on the ongoing dispute between the Federal Government and the striking members of the National Association of Resident Doctors to Friday.
Justice Bashar A. Alkali made the order after listening to submissions from both parties on Wednesday, Punch reports.
The counsel for the doctors, Femi Falana SAN, had raised the issue of the court’s jurisdiction and had sought that his application challenging the court’s jurisdiction be taken.
However, the counsel to the Federal Government, Tochukwu Maduka, had stated that the issue of contempt was yet to be taken and argued that the issue of contempt should take precedence over the issue of jurisdiction.
He also sought time to respond to their preliminary objection.
Falana, however, applied that the court should order that parties should return to the negotiation table if they were to align with the request for adjournment.
He argued that it was in line with the order of the court that had directed all parties to suspend all forms of hostility.
SaharaReporters had reported that the Industrial Court ordered the striking doctors to resume work or risk being jailed.
In a court document obtained by SaharaReporters, the Federal Government of Nigeria and Federal Ministry of Health were judgment creditors while members of NARD alongside the association's president, secretary-general and Crown Prince were judgment debtors.
In the document issued on September 3, the court also asked the striking members to suspend all forms of hostilities else they will be guilty of contempt of court and “liable to be committed to prison".
The doctors went on strike on August 1 to protest against inadequate allowances, irregular payment of salaries, among others.