REPORT OF LAGOS MEDICAL GUILD VERSUS LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL COURT PROCEEDING HELD ON 16TH MAY, 2012

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The court was jam-packed with sympathizers across Lagos State to witness the court proceeding. Doctors from federal hospitals and even those in private practice came to solidarize with their affected colleagues. JAF members were also present en mass to solidarize with the 778 members of the Lagos state doctors who were unjustly sacked by the Lagos state government. The affected doctors were also present en mass.

The court proceeding started at about 10am. The first drama started when the lawyer to the affected doctors (Barrister Bamidele Aturu) informed the court about his application and that due to the nature of the case as it affects human life, that he is ready to move the motion. The judge asked whether the state government lawyer represented by the Lagos Attorney General was ready for his defense. He said he was not ready due to the fact that he has just been served the motion just yesterday (Tuesday 15/5/12). This was disputed by the claimant lawyer who informed the court that he called the court on Monday and was told that the defendant had been served since Monday (14/5/12). The judge ordered the court clerk to bring the court file. Alas! The court record showed that the defendant had been served since Monday (14/5/12) and the stamp on the court copy was dated same. But the defendant copy bear a stamp dated (15/5/12). How? Remain a big question begging for answer. It was obvious that the defendant did not have any defense for their illegal action and their tactics is obviously to delay. At the end of the drama, the judge adjourned the case till Tuesday (22/5/12) for hearing to give the defendant time to file their response to the affidavit.

The second drama took place in front of the court gate, where rented crowd of the Lagos state government came to protest against the Lagos doctors strike. They came with different posters reading: “Doctors go back to work”, “doctors don’t be greedy”, “our people are dying”, etc. Initially, they were shouting at doctors, threatening to beat them up but when they were engaged with superior argument, they felt stupid to themselves and decided on their own to leave. This also goes to show that the government is highly feeding on the mass ignorance and poverty level to exploit and oppress us that is why they are head bent in keeping us in this state for them to continue their exploitation and oppression against us. That is the more reason why this strike should not be seen as an attack against the Lagos doctors alone but an attack on masses of Lagos State. Governor Fashola’s Father is sick and has been flown abroad for treatment that is why they are not bother about people dying in this hospital on daily basis since the strike commenced because they don’t use these public hospitals, they don’t even have faith in those hospitals. But, what about us? The poor people of Lagos State, we have no means and resources to go abroad when we are sick, we have no money to go to private hospitals, and our people are dying on daily basis. This is a serious attack on all of us; we must all rise up and say no to this. The Lagos state Government signed an agreement with the doctors since last year; let them obey this agreement so that our doctors can go back to work.

Next court session is on Tuesday (22/5/12). Solidarity Forever!