Femi Falana, Human Rights Lawyer and Counsel to NLC. Photo: Archive/Radio Nigeria
Human Rights Lawyer, Femi Falana has said the proposed strike and protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress and its affiliates does not translate to contempt of court as averred by the Federal Government.
In a letter to the Ministry of Justice, Falana said no court has issued a perpetual injunction restraining Nigerian workers from participating in peaceful rallies convened by the NLC.
In the letter dated July 28, 2023, the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, who is also the counsel to the organised labour, argued that the rights to peaceful protest have not been removed from the Nigeria constitution.
“You will agree with us that the National Industrial Court or any other Court has not granted an order of interim, interlocutory or perpetual injunction restraining Nigerian workers from participating in peaceful rallies convened by the Nigeria Labour Congress.
“Since the constitutional right of Nigerian workers to protest peacefully cannot by any stretch of imagination be classified as an Industrial action or strike of any nature, you ought not to have threatened our client with contempt of court’’, the letter read.
He said the Union has the right to demonstrate and protest on matters of public concern as long as no unlawful act was done.
“Finally, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are part of the democratic rights of every citizen of the republic; our legislature must guard these rights jealously as they are part of the foundation upon which the government itself rests,” Mr Falana wrote.
Writing Annabel Nwachukwu