The Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN) has warned the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) that attempting to proceed with its planned nationwide protest on Tuesday and Wednesday would violate an existing Court order.

Fagbemi issued the warning in an address to counsel to the NLC, Femi Falana (SAN).

The Attorney-General reminded Falana that the protest would be violating the order of an existing case before the National Industrial Court which restrained organized Labour from public protests over matters connected to the removal of fuel subsidy.

The AGF’s letter read, “I wish to draw your esteemed attention to the Joint Press Release dated 8th February 2024, containing a 14-day ultimatum, jointly issued by the President of the NLC and President of the TUC as well as the notice of a two-day national protest issued by the NLC President on 16th February 2024.

“A cursory perusal of the above press release clearly shows that the planned protest is premised on or connected with alleged non-implementation of the 16-point agreement reached with the Federal Government on October 02, 2023, consequences of the hike in the price of PMS, and other associated issues.

“It is therefore safe to assert again that the proposed cause of action by NLC is targeted at achieving objectives or promoting issues connected with a hike in fuel price and consequential matters of palliatives workers ‘ welfare, and associated government policies.

“You may wish to note that the foregoing issues or objectives are at the core of the pending case before the National Industrial Court. Upon the submission of grievances to the court, parties in the suit cannot resort to public protests over the same issues, as such conduct amounts to gross contempt and affront to the institution of our courts of law.

“Therefore, the proposed nationwide protest action in all ramifications is in clear violation of the pending interim injunctive order granted in SUIT NO: NICN/ABJ/158/2023-FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA & ANOR V. NIGERIAN LABOUR CONGRESS & ANOR on 5th June 2023 restraining both NLC and TUC from embarking on any industrial action or strike of any nature.”

The NLC had last week directed members to mobilise for a national protest if the Federal Government fails to fulfil agreements of a Memorandum of Understanding signed in October 2023, following the removal of fuel subsidy.

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