The Emeritus Professor of Labour Law, University of Lagos, Prof. Chioma Agomo has appraised National Industrial Court of Nigeria as a true court of law that is industrially informed with the torrent of qualified judges, hard work, and world-class training that keep them abreast of global trends.
Prof Agomo made the remark at the workshop Banquet organised by Juritrust centre for socio-legal research in collaboration with the National Judicial Institute at the 4-day Judges’ retreat in Akwa-Ibom State.
The emeritus professor also expressed that the enlargement of the jurisdiction of the NIC to embrace all aspects of individual employment matters gave the court the opportunity to chart the path for a new labour jurisprudence in the Country, that the NIC of today is very much alive to the current realities in the world of work globally, questioned whether the appellate courts were aware of these realities because the quality of the intervention at the appellate level is critical to sustaining the change envisaged by the Third Alteration and the National Industrial Court Act, 2006.
“Under the National Industrial Court of today, it is futile for counsel to argue that a driver hired under an oral agreement, and who only worked on ad hoc basis for years, cannot be an “employee” under section 54 (1) of the National Industrial Court Act, 2006. The Court has made it clear that “employee” has to be interpreted, to accommodate permanent, or ad hoc, or casual worker. This is the National Industrial Court today.” Prof. Agomo.
Also in his remark, the Hon. President of court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Benedict Kanyip, PhD, FNIALS while expressing deepest appreciation to the Justices of the Court of Appeal present, Judges of the Court and the invited guest, re-echoed that the essence of the retreat is to keep the judges abreast of the current realities that no one has the monopoly of knowledge, and further maintained that the court will continue to improve on the quality of labour justice.
In his goodwill message, the presiding Judge, Court of Appeal Calabar Judicial Division, Hon. Justice M. A. Oyelade expressed great confidence in the ability of the Industrial Court President Justice Kanyip to take the court to a greater height as we have seen today.
“For the Hon. Judges of the Court, Please keep up the good work. We read your judgment as you are expanding the philosophy of the Industrial Court in the areas of industrial relation.” Justice Oyelade remarked.
In attendance was Hon. Justice James Abiri JCA, Hon. Justice M. L. Shuaibu JCA, judges of the Industrial Court, professors of law to mention a few.
Hon. Justice Dele Peters of the Industrial Court Ibadan Judicial Division delivered the vote of thanks.