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Court restrains FG from sacking Resident Doctors

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The Lagos Division of the National Industrial Court, on Monday, gave an order restraining the Federal Government and his agents from serving the about 16,000 suspended resident doctors with sack letters.

The president of the court, Justice Babatunde Adejumo, ordered all the Chief Medical Directors of the 37 medical institutions across the nation to hold action on the directive given by the Federal Goverment 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 court’s order restraining the  Federal Government and its agents from both scrapping the programme and terminating their appointment.

The application was filed on their behalf by their lawyer, 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 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.

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

He held, “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 person 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.”

On the prayer that the Residency Training Programme for doctors not be suspended the judge held, “I have gone through the motion exparte, the affidavit in support as well as the written address. In respect of prayer one (suspension of training programme), it is my belief that it will be better addressed when parties join issues on the issues raised in the motion on notice.”

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