Court stops FG from sacking 16,000 doctors

Following the Federal government order to sack 16000 resident doctors, the Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court on Monday gave an order restraining the Federal Government and his agents from sacking about 16,000 suspended resident doctors.

The president of the court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, ordered all the Chief Medical Directors in the 37 medical institutions across the nation to hold action on the directive given by the Federal Government to dismiss the resident doctors. The Federal Government had in a letter dated August 13, 2014 directed that the Residency Training Programme for doctors be suspended.

The resident doctors on August 18, 2014 filed a Motion on Notice seeking a court’s order restraining the Federal Government and its agents from scrapping the programme and terminating their appointment.

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The application was filed on behalf of the resident doctors by Mr. Alex Akoja from the law firm of Yusuf Ali, SAN. Joined as respondents in the suit are the Chief Medical Directors of Aminu Kanu Teaching Hospital; Jos University Teaching Hospital; Lagos State Teaching Hospital; Nnamdi Azikiwe Teaching Hospital; Obafemi Awolowo Teaching Hospital; University College Hospital, Ibadan; University of Benin Teaching Hospital; Calabar Teaching Hospital; University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital; University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital; University of Portharcourt Teaching Hospital; University of Uyo Teaching Hospital; Usman Danfodio Teaching Hospital; University of Abuja Teaching Hospital and the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital. Others are the Medical Directors of the Federal Medical Centres in Asaba, Azare, Bida, Birnin-Kebbi, Birnin Kudu, Gombe, Keffi, Gusau, Ido-Ekiti, Katsina, Lokoja, Makurdi, Owerri, Owo, Umuahia, Yenegoa, Yola, Ebute Metta, Lagos and Yobe states.

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Ruling on the application on Monday, Adejumo said the respondents should not serve the resident doctors with sack letters if they had not already done so.

“It is the order of the court that since there is yet to be proof that the order has been carried out, the 3rd to 39th respondents are hereby restrained, either by themselves, agents, privies or any other persons, from serving member of the Registered Trustee of the Nigeria Medical Association with any letter of termination if same had not been served on them before today,” Adejumo ruled.

On the prayer that the Residency Training Programme for doctors be not suspended, the judge said he had gone through the motion ex parte, the affidavit in support as well as the written address, and decided it would “be better addressed when parties joined issues on the issues raised in the motion on Notice.”

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The case has been adjourned till September 17 for the hearing of the Motion on Notice.