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[Justice Idigbe Memorial Lecture] Justice Kanyip says Industrial Court will continue to promote Industrial harmony

352 Tuesday 21st September 2021

The Hon. President of the National Industrial Court, His Lordship, Hon. Justice Benedict kanyip PhD, FNIALS has said that the very subject matter of the court is a product of the uneven bargaining power between employees and employers that Industrial Court will continue to promote industrial harmony.

Justice Kanyip made the remark today Tuesday 21st September 2021 at the 18th memorial lecture of Justice Idigbe at the Faculty of Law, University of Benin, chaired by the vice-chancellor, Professor (Mrs) Lillian Salami.

The annual lecture was instituted in 1988 by the erudite human rights lawyer, Chief Gani Fawehinmi SAN in memory of the late Hon Justice Chukwunweike Idigbe JSC who was applauded as one of the leading jurists in his time at the Apex Court. 

In recognition of his services to the nation, Justice Chukwunweike Idigbe was conferred with the national awards of the Officer of the Federal Republic (OFR) in 1980 and the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON) in 1981. 

In her remark, the vice-chancellor of the University of Benin, Professor Mrs Lilian Salami ably represented by the deputy vice-chancellor described the late jurist as an erudite and fearless judicial officer with great intellectual prowess whose judicial pronouncements remain indispensable till date, thanked the guest lecturer for finding the institution worthy for accepting their invitation.

Justice Kanyip lecture was titled “The Role of the National Industrial Court in the Promotion of Industrial Harmony: Resolving the Clash of Interests in Employment Rights.” 

In his paper, Justice Kanyip said over the years of its establishment, the court is living up to his constitutional mandate of promoting industrial harmony in the country.

The National Industrial Court (NIC) was established as a specialized court with original and appellate jurisdiction in civil matters over labour, employment and industrial related issues. The trade disputes envisaged by the enlarged powers of the NIC include workers welfare, emoluments, job security, safety, pension, just to mention but a few. 

Hon President maintained that Industrial Court has been repositioned by the law to enhance industrial harmony as it is now empowered to apply international conventions, treaties and protocols that relate to labour disputes devoid of technicalities.

Justice kanyip maintained that the importance of a special court for the adjudication of industrial dispute cannot be overemphasized that conflicts arising from labour and industrial relations impact significantly on socio-economic development, thus the search for an industrial dispute resolution mechanism or approach that would minimize the adverse effect of industrial unrest is important to every country.

Hon President further said the Court would continue to promote industrial harmony through a timely, but fair resolution of disputes in a flexible, expedient, reliable and affordable manner thereby providing the enabling environment for the nation's industrial development and economic growth.

The event was well attended by the members of the University community led by the Vice-Chancellor, deans, professors, judicial titans, justices of the Court of Appeal, Industrial court, State High Court, judicial staff, students, and many others.