National Industrial Court

HISTORY

Attempt by Nigerian government to provide and efficient legal framework for the settlement of trade disputes dates back to 1941 with the promulgation of the Trade Disputes (Arbitration and Inquiry) (Lagos) Ordinance of 1941

The History according to Hon. Justice Babatude Adejumo

NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT: OUR JOURNEY FROM OBSCURITY –JUSTICE ADEJUMO, PRESIDENT

National Industrial Court: Our journey from obscurity –Justice Adejumo, President
For 25 years, the National Industrial Court (NIC), remained practically moribund. The court sat only in Lagos for those years. It was clearly unknown and its decisions and pronouncements hardly respected.
Its president, Justice Babatunde Adejumo testified: “On my assumption of office, I realized that there was nothing on record to show how superior the court is. Nothing to even make it the court that can meet the yearnings and aspirations of the founding fathers.
“When I came, we were in Lagos in a duplex that was allocated to the court since 1976. Whenever it rained we would not be able to sit because the place was always water-logged.”
That was in 2003. All that have changed now. the court is fast wearing new look with the establishment of eight divisions across the country.
“Today, we have our Lagos office in Ikoyi: We have the Abuja office and the headquarters will be built soon. We have our court in Enugu. Ibadan and Kano offices will be commissioned soon. We also have on-going projects in Jos, Maiduguri and Calabar which we hope that before the end of the year will be ready for commission.”
Daily Sun visited the NIC offices under construction in Ibadan and Enugu, and spoke with Justice Adejumo in his Abuja office. Excerpts:
In the beginning
The Nigerian Industrial Court (NIC) was established in 1976 to take care of trade disputes between employers and employees, workers and workers, trade unions and workers and trade unions and trade unions. Read more

 

 

National Industrial Court of Nigeria's Jurisdiction

Welcome to the official website of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. The court has exclusive jurisdiction in civil causes and matters relating to or connected with any labour, employment, trade unions, industrial relations and matters arising from workplace, the conditions of service, including health, safety, welfare of labour, employee, worker and matter incidental thereto or connected therewith. The court also has exclusive jurisdiction in civil matters relating to,  connected with or arising from Factories Act, Trade Disputes Act, Trade Unions Act, Workmen’s Compensations Act or any other Act or Law relating to labour, employment, industrial relations, workplace or any other enactment replacing the Acts or Laws………read more (link to Constitution(Third Alteration) Amendment Act 2010). Appeals also lie from the Court to the Court of Appeal as contained in Chapter IV of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999. The National Industrial Court consists of the President of the Court and not less than twelve Judges. Presently the National Industrial Court is manned by the President and nine other Judges.

Section 254C of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Third Alteration) Act 2010 provides as follows:

  1. Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 251, 257, 272 and anything contained in this Constitution and in addition to such other jurisdiction as may be conferred upon it by an Act of the National Assembly, the National Industrial Court shall have and exercise jurisdiction to the exclusion of any other court in civil causes and matters-
  2. Relating to or connected with any labour, employment, trade unions, industrial relations and matters arising from workplace, the conditions of service, including health, safety, welfare of labour, employee, worker and matter incidental thereto or connected therewith;
  3. Relating to,  connected with or arising from Factories Act, Trade Disputes Act, Trade Unions Act, Workmen’s Compensations Act or any other Act or Law relating to labour, employment, industrial relations, workplace or any other enactment replacing the Acts or Laws;
  4. Relating to or connected with the grant of any order restraining any person or body from taking part in any strike, lockout or any industrial action, or any conduct in contemplation or in furtherance of a strike, lock-out or any industrial action and matter connected therewith or related thereto;
  5. Relating to or connected with any dispute over the interpretation and application of the provisions of  Chapter IV of this Constitution as it relates to any employment, labour, industrial relations, trade unionism, employers association or any other matter which the court has jurisdiction to hear and determine;
  6. Relating to or connected with any dispute arising from national minimum wage for the Federation or any part thereof and matters connected therewith or arising therefrom;
  7. Relating to or connected with unfair labour practice or international best practices in labour, employment and industrial relation matters;
  8. Relating to or connected with any dispute arising from discrimination or sexual harassment at the workplace;
  9. Relating to, connected with or pertaining to the application or interpretation of international labour standard;
  10. Connected with or related to child labour, child abuse, human trafficking or any matter connected therewith or related thereto;
  11. Relating to the determination of any question as to the interpretation and application of any-

(i) collective agreement;
(ii) award or order made by an arbitral tribunal in respect of a
trade dispute or a trade union dispute;
(iii) award or judgment of the court;
(iv) term of settlement of any trade dispute;
(v) trade union dispute or employment dispute as may be
recorded in a memorandum of settlement;
(vi) trade union constitution, the constitution of an association
of employers or any association relating to employment,
labour, industrial relations or work place;
(vii) dispute relating to or connected with any personnel matter
arising from any free trade zone in the Federation or any part
thereof;

  1. Relating to or connected with trade disputes arising from payment or nonpayment of salaries, wages, pensions, gratuities, allowances, benefits and any other entitlement of any employee, worker, political or public office holder, judicial officer or any civil or public servant in any part of the Federation and matters incidental thereto;
  2. Relating to-

(i) appeals from the decisions of the Registrar of Trade Unions, or
matters relating thereto or connected therewith;
(ii) appeals from the decisions or recommendations of any
administrative body or commission of enquiry, arising from or
connected with employment, labour, trade unions or industrial
relations; and
(iii) such other jurisdiction, civil or criminal and whether to the
exclusion of any other court or not, as may be conferred upon it by
an Act of the National Assembly;
(m) relating to or connected with the registration of collective agreements.
(2) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Constitution, the National Industrial Court shall have the jurisdiction and power to deal with any matter connected with or pertaining to the application of any international convention, treaty or protocol of which Nigeria has ratified relating to labour, employment, workplace, industrial relations or matters connected therewith.
(3) The National Industrial Court may establish an Alternative Dispute Resolutions Centre within the Court premises on matters on which jurisdictions are conferred on the Court by this Constitution or any other Act or Law:
Provided that nothing in this subsection shall preclude the National Industrial Court from entertaining and exercising appellate and supervisory jurisdiction over an arbitral tribunal or commission, administrative body, or board of inquiry in respect of any matter that the National Industrial Court has jurisdiction to entertain or any other matter as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly or any Law in force in any part of the Federation.
(4) The National Industrial Court shall have and exercise jurisdiction and powers to entertain any application for the enforcement of the award, decision, ruling or order made by any arbitral tribunal or commission, administrative body, or board of inquiry relating to, connected with, arising from or pertaining to any matter of which the National Industrial Court has the jurisdiction to entertain.
(5) The National Industrial Court shall have and exercise jurisdiction and powers in criminal causes and matters arising from any cause or matter of which jurisdiction is conferred on the National Industrial Court by this section or any Act of the National Assembly or by any other Law.
(6) Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this constitution, appeal shall lie from the decision of the National Industrial Court from matters in sub-section 5 of this section to the Court of Appeal.
Section254D- (1) provides further thus:
For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Constitution or as may be conferred by an Act of the National Assembly, the National Industrial Court shall have all the powers of a High Court.
Sub-section (2) of section 254D provides:
Notwithstanding sub-section (1) of this section, the National Assembly may by law, make provisions conferring upon the National Industrial Court powers additional to those conferred by this section as may appear necessary or desirable for enabling the court to be more effective in exercising its jurisdiction”.

Powers of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
The 1999 Constitution Third Alteration Act, 2011 confers on the National Industrial Court all powers of a High Court. The Court is empowered-

  • To confirm a judgment, an award or order made by the Court, tribunal or body mentioned in the matter before it;
  • To vary a judgment, an award or order made by the Court, tribunal or body mentioned therein;
  • To set aside a judgment, an award or order made by the Court , tribunal or body mentioned therein;
  • To order a rehearing and determination on such terms as it thinks just;
  • To order judgment to be entered for any party;
  • To make a final order or other order on such terms as it may think fit to ensure the determination on the merits of the matter in dispute between the parties;

Powers.

  • To make an order of mandamus requiring any act to be done
  • To make an order of prohibition prohibiting any proceedings cause or matter; and
  • To make an order of certiorari removing any proceedings, cause or matter into the Court for any purpose.
  • To grant urgent interim reliefs;
  • To make a declaratory order;
  • To appoint a public trustee for the management of the affairs and finances of a trade union or employees’ organization involved in any organizational disputes;
  • To make appropriate order for an award of compensation or damages in any circumstance contemplated by the NICA, 2006 or any Act of the National Assembly dealing with any matter that the Court  has jurisdiction to hear ; and
  • To make an order of compliance with any provision of any Act of the National Assembly dealing with any matter that the Court has jurisdiction to hear.

Operations of the National Industrial Court 
The Court combines the rule of law applicable in conventional law courts with flexibility, expediency, reliability and affordability often associated with specialised courts.
The Judges of the Court have considerable knowledge and experience in the law and practice of industrial relations and employment conditions in Nigeria.
In all civil matters the Court is bound by the Evidence Act.
In exercising its criminal jurisdiction, the Court applies the Criminal Code, Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Act, Criminal Procedure Code and Evidence Act in the determination of criminal matters brought before it.
Procedure before the Court is regulated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) National Industrial Court Act, 2006 and the National Industrial Court Rules, 2007, the Trades Disputes Act, 1990 (as. Amended)

Courts with Similar Jurisdictions
There are similar Industrial/Labour Courts in other jurisdictions such as Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, Tanzania, India, Ireland, South Africa and other countries.
Other means for resolving labour industrial relations matters   outside the Court
There are other means of resolving labour, employment and industrial relations disputes.
These include dialogue, arbitration, mediation and                   conciliation.
The Court encourages parties to exhaust reasonable avenues to resolve their disputes before they recourse to litigation. The Court recognises the importance of tribunal, arbitration, mediation and conciliation. When parties are not satisfied with the decisions from these organs, they can then appeal the decision or bring it on as original application.
National Industrial Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre. 
The 1999 Constitution Third Alteration Act, 2011 provides for the establishment of an Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre within the premises of the Court. The Centre offers varied alternative means of disputes resolution on matters which jurisdiction is conferred on the Court.
Referring Decision of Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre to Court.

By the operation of law, the Court has jurisdiction over ANY civil and criminal dispute on matters which jurisdiction is conferred on the Court. As such any dispute could be referred to or filed with the Court irrespective of the previous attempts at resolution.

 

Appeals from the National Industrial Court of Nigeria
Section 243(2) and (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Third Alteration) Act 2010 provides as follows:

  1. An Appeal shall lie from the decision of the National Industrial Court as of right to the Court of Appeal on questions of fundamental rights as contained in Chapter IV of this Constitution as it relates to matters upon which the National Industrial Court has jurisdiction.
  2. An Appeal shall only lie from the decision of the National Industrial Court to the Court of Appeal as may be prescribed by an Act of the National Assembly:

Provided that where an Act or Law prescribes that an appeal shall lie from the decisions of the National Industrial Court to the Court of Appeal, such Appeal shall be with the leave of the Court of Appeal.

  1. Without prejudice to the provisions of Section254C (5) of this Act, the decision of the Court of Appeal in respect of any Appeal arising from any civil jurisdiction of the National Industrial Court shall be final.

 

Powers of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria
Section 254D of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Third Alteration) Act 2010 provides as follows:

  1. For the purpose of exercising any jurisdiction conferred upon it by this Constitution or as may be conferred by an Act of the National Assembly, the National Industrial Court shall have all the powers of a High Court.
  2. Notwithstanding subsection (1) of this section, the National Assembly may by law, make provisions conferring upon the National Industrial Court powers additional to those conferred by this section as may appear necessary or desirable for enabling the Court to be more effective in exercising its jurisdiction.

 

 

Powers of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

The 1999 Constitution Third Alteration Act, 2011 confers on the National Industrial Court all powers of a High Court. The Court is empowered-

  • To confirm a judgment, an award or order made by the Court, tribunal or body mentioned in the matter before it;
  • To vary a judgment, an award or order made by the Court, tribunal or body mentioned therein;
  • To set aside a judgment, an award or order made by the Court , tribunal or body mentioned therein;
  • To order a rehearing and determination on such terms as it thinks just;
  • To order judgment to be entered for any party;
  • To make a final order or other order on such terms as it may think fit to ensure the determination on the merits of the matter in dispute between the parties;

 

Powers.

  • To make an order of mandamus requiring any act to be done
  • To make an order of prohibition prohibiting any proceedings cause or matter; and
  • To make an order of certiorari removing any proceedings, cause or matter into the Court for any purpose.
  • To grant urgent interim reliefs;
  • To make a declaratory order;
  • To appoint a public trustee for the management of the affairs and finances of a trade union or employees’ organization involved in any organizational disputes;
  • To make appropriate order for an award of compensation or damages in any circumstance contemplated by the NICA, 2006 or any Act of the National Assembly dealing with any matter that the Court  has jurisdiction to hear ; and
  • To make an order of compliance with any provision of any Act of the National Assembly dealing with any matter that the Court has jurisdiction to hear.

 

Operations of the National Industrial Court

The Court combines the rule of law applicable in conventional law courts with flexibility, expediency, reliability and affordability often associated with specialised courts.

The Judges of the Court have considerable knowledge and experience in the law and practice of industrial relations and employment conditions in Nigeria.

In all civil matters the Court is bound by the Evidence Act.
In exercising its criminal jurisdiction, the Court applies the Criminal Code, Penal Code, Criminal Procedure Act, Criminal Procedure Code and Evidence Act in the determination of criminal matters brought before it.

Procedure before the Court is regulated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) National Industrial Court Act, 2006 and the National Industrial Court Rules, 2007, the Trades Disputes Act, 1990 (as. Amended)

 

Courts with Similar Jurisdictions

There are similar Industrial/Labour Courts in other jurisdictions such as Trinidad and Tobago, Ghana, Tanzania, India, Ireland, South Africa and other countries.

Other means for resolving labour industrial relations matters   outside the Court

There are other means of resolving labour, employment and industrial                 relations disputes. These include dialogue, arbitration, mediation and                   conciliation.
The Court encourages parties to exhaust reasonable avenues to resolve their disputes before they recourse to litigation. The Court recognises the importance of tribunal, arbitration, mediation and conciliation. When parties are not satisfied with the decisions from these organs, they can then appeal the decision or bring it on as original application.

National Industrial Court Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre.

The 1999 Constitution Third Alteration Act, 2011 provides for the establishment of an Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre within the premises of the Court. The Centre offers varied alternative means of disputes resolution on matters which jurisdiction is conferred on the Court.

Referring Decision of Alternative Dispute Resolution Centre to Court.

By the operation of law, the Court has jurisdiction over ANY civil and criminal dispute on matters which jurisdiction is conferred on the Court. As such any dispute could be referred to or filed with the Court irrespective of the previous attempts at resolution.

 

PAST  PRESIDENTS AND REGISTRARS OF THE NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT
PAST  PRESIDENTS OF THE COURT
HON JUSTICE P.A ATILADE  1976 – 1997
HON JUSTICE  M.A BORISADE  1998 – 2002

PAST CHIEF REGISTRARS OF THE COURT

MR T.I ADESALU 1977 – 1992
MRS O.A SHOGBOLA 1992 – 2008

 

JUDICIAL DIVISIONS OF NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT OF NIGERIA

Division Address
Abuja No. 10, Port Harcourt Crescent, Off Gimbiya Street, Area 11, Garki Abuja. 07043442821
Lagos 31, Lugard Avenue,Ikoyi Lagos, Lagos State. 07040101205
Kano Plot 381, New Court Road, Gyadi-Gyadi, Kano State. 07040101230
Enugu No. 5, Aguleri Street, Independent Layout, Enugu State. 07040101192, 08028128081
Oyo Court Road, Opp. FHC,Off Adeoyo Ring Road, GRA, Ibadan, Oyo state. 07040101229, 08034529786
Yola No. 9 Kashim Ibrahim Way, Yola, Adamawa State. 08062423787
Makurdi Otukpo Road, Adjacent Bank of Agric, Makurdi, Benue State. 08137331976, 07040101223
Calabar 44/45 Murtala Mohammed Way Calabar, Cross Rivers State. 07040101236, 07034954381
Akure Igbatoro Road,Alagbaka Estate, GRA Akure, Ondo State. 07040101219
Jos No. 341, Ibrahim Taiwo Road, Jos, Plateau State. 07040101218
Ibadan Court Road, Opp. FHC,Off Adeoyo Ring Road, GRA, Ibadan, Oyo state. 07040101229, 08034529786

 

 

For more details. Visit nic.gov.ng

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