On 31 May 2022, the President of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Justice Benedict Bakwaph Kanyip, passed the NICN Practice Direction 2022 (Practice Direction). The key provisions in the Practice Direction are as follows:
- All forms of originating processes including applications and motions, particularly those that seek order(s) to restrain the holding of delegates conferences of a trade union or to conduct trade union elections are to be filed in Abuja or Lagos Judicial Divisions of NICN.
- All statements of facts, statements of defence and witness statements on oath, must clearly indicate, attach and mark all documents to be relied on at the trial.
- The part of the document to be relied on e.g. a paragraph, page, etc., must be referred to and marked appropriately in the statements of facts, statements of defence and witness statements on oath.
- A claimant or defendant must indicate whether the original of any frontloaded document will be available or produced for inspection during trial.
- A claimant or defendant must indicate whether any document that is frontloaded will require the laying of a foundation before it is admitted into evidence.
- Where a claimant or defendant intends to object to the admissibility of any document sought to be tendered by the other party, the objection and the basis for it, must be indicated in the statements of defence, reply to a statement of defence and witness statements on oath.
- Where a process to be filed does not comply with the Practice Direction, it will not be accepted by the NICN. If it is accepted, the Judge to whom it is assigned may (a) if the process is a statement of facts, reply to a statement of defence or witness statement on oath, strike out the suit; (b) if the process is a statement of defence or witness statement on oath, strike out the defence.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.