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Amendment: Senate Passes Bill Establishing Industrial Court

Source: EMMA UCHE - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, Dec 01, (THEWILL) - The Senate continued the constitutional amendment process with the passing of a bill establishing the National Industrial Court.

The bill it could be recalled was read the second time on the October 13, and was referred to the Committee on the Review of the 1999 Constitution.

In the committee’s report, the lawmakers noted that the National Assembly realizes the seriousness of the issue of employee-labour relationship in the economic growth and development of nations.

Though the National Assembly had previously enacted a bill for the establishment of the court in 2006, the Senate however noted that the implementation of the Act would be difficult if the court is not consolidated by listing it among the courts of the federation with superior status in the relevant sections of the Constitution.

Senator Ike Ekweremadu, who presented the bill for consideration, noted that the main objective of the bill was to include the court as a court of superior record among the courts established for the federation.

According to him, the committee observed in the course of consulting on the provisions for the bill that for the industrial court to achieve the purpose for which it was established must clearly and expressly be listed in the relevant sections of the Constitution dealing with judicial and related matters.

He also said that the amendment was in line with a Supreme Court judgment in Suit No. SC.62/2004 and urged his colleagues to support the amendment by voting overwhelmingly for all the clauses in the bill.

Ekweremadu also disclosed that his committee voted to delete clause 15 of the bill, which provided that the amendment should repeal the National Industrial Court Act of 2006.

After the voting, President of the Senate, David Mark, said with the amendment, the National Industrial Court would now be able to stand on a better footing to discharge its duties adequately. He said the court would be able to resolve the numerous outstanding industrial issues in the country.

Senate Spokesman, Senator Ayogu Eze, said the National Assembly’s effort to give the court a befitting status in the last four years has come to fruition. He said the passage would decongest the regular courts of industrial cases, indicating speedy dispensation of justice in the cases.

The bill will be sent to the 36 State Houses of Assembly for their consideration and passage in line with Section 9 of the 1999 Constitution to give the amendment the required effect.