By Kufre Akanimoore, Uyo
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Uyo Judicial Division has struck out a motion filed by Sharon Eddie (esq), Counsel to the Akwa Ibom State Government and other defendants challenging the jurisdiction of the court to hear the case brought before it by the 5000 teachers that were layed-off by the state government.
The New Diplomat gathered, the motion by Sharon Eddie (esq) counsel to the Akwa Ibom State Government and other defendants which was purportedly filed on the 17th of February 2017 but served on other parties in open court on the 20th of February 2017 prayed the court to strike out the suit brought before the honourable court by the agreived teachers as the court lacks the jurisdiction to adjudicate on the matter on the following grounds:
“That the Plaintiffs/Respondents lack the collective right to institute the case in a representative capacity.
“That each of the plaintiffs/Respondents has a separate cause of action against the Defendants/Applicants.
“To argue the points raised Sharon Eddie (esq) maintained that the motion is brought pursuant to Order 17, Rule 9 of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria Rules 2017,” the statement read.
In his reply, the claimant counsel to the 5000 sacked teachers, Clifford Thomas(esq) presented three issues for determination:
“Whether the National Industrial Court of Nigeria has jurisdiction to adjudicate on the suit
“Whether the Claimants/Respondents have the right to institute this case in Representative capacity
“Whether the Preliminary Objection of the Defendants/Applicants is competent before the court,” Thomas stated.
However, In his ruling, after the ensuing arguments between the counsels, the Hon. Justice M. N Esowe of the National Industrial Court, Uyo disagreed with all the prayers brought by Sharon Eddie (esq) Counsel to the Akwa Ibom State Government and agreed with all the prayers of Claimants Counsel, Clifford Thomas(esq) and therefore ruled in favour of the 5000 sacked teachers.
Hon. Justice Esowe adjourned the case to 29 of June for continuation of the suit.