TRADE DISPUTES ACT

TRADE DISPUTES ACT

SECTION

1. Preliminary.

2.Exclusion of courts.

ARRANGEMENT OF SECTIONS PART I

Procedure for settling trade disputes

3. Obligation to deposit collective agreements with the Minister.

4. Procedure before dispute is reported.

5. Apprehension of trade dispute by the Minister.

6.Reporting of dispute if not amicably settled.

7. Notice requiring compliance with sections 4 and 6.

8. Appointment of conciliator, etc.

9. Reference of dispute to arbitration tribunal if conciliation fails. 10.Tenure of office of members of the Panel.

11.Tenure of office of chairman and members of the Panel. 12.Provisions supplementary to section 9.

13. Issue of tribunal’s awards, and procedure thereon.

14. Reference of dispute to National Industrial Court if tribunal’s award is objected to. 15.Interpretation of award of arbitration tribunal or National Industrial Court.

16. Interpretation of agreements.

17. Direct reference to National Industrial Court in certain special cases.

18. Prohibition of lock-outs and strikes before issue of award of National Industrial Court. 19.Prohibition of grant of general wage increase.

PART II

The National Industrial Court

[Repealed] PART III

Board of inquiry

33. Power to appoint board of inquiry.

34. Reports of board of inquiry.

PART IV

Supplementary provisions: the National Industrial Court, arbitration tribunals and boards of inquiry

35. Bodies to which Part IV applies.

SECTION

36. Powers of such bodies.

37. Practice and procedure.

38. Appearance of legal practitioners.

39. Restriction on publication of report of proceedings.

PART V

Supplementary provisions: application of Act to State trade disputes

40. Application of Act to State trade disputes.

PART VI

Miscellaneous and general

41. Fifteen days’ notice to be given by workers in essential services before ceasing work.

42. Fifteen days’ notice to be given by workers before ceasing work in circumstances involving danger to persons or property.

43. Special provision with respect to payment of wages during strikes and lock-outs.

44. Panels of employers’ and workers’ representatives.

45. Appointment of officers and servants for purposes of Act.

46. Expenses.

47. Offences by bodies corporate.

48. Interpretation.

49. Application of Act to workers employed by or under the State other than armed forces, police, etc.

50. Savings.

51. Power to make order for the appointment of public trustee.

52. Short title and repeal.

SCHEDULES

FIRST SCHEDULE

Essential services

SECOND SCHEDULE

Enactments repealed

TRADE DISPUTES ACT

An Act to make provisions for the settlement of trade disputes and other matters ancillary thereto.

[1976 No.7, 2006 No. 37.]

[1st January, 1976]

[Commencement.] PART I

Procedure for settling trade disputes

1. Preliminary

(1) Where a trade dispute exists or is apprehended, the provisions of this Part of this Act shall apply in relation to the dispute.

(2) In this Part, unless the context otherwise requires- “the dispute” means the trade dispute in question; and “party” means a party to the dispute.

2. Exclusion of courts

(1) Subject to the provisions of subsection (3) of section 21 of this Act, no person shall commence an action, the subject matter of a trade dispute or any inter or intra union dispute in a court of law and accordingly, any action which, prior to the commencement of this section is pending in any court shall abate and be null and void.

[1992No.47.]

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1979, an interim or interlocutory order, judgement or decision made by any court

other than the National Industrial Court established under this Act, in respect of any trade dispute prior to the commencement of this section shall cease to have effect.

[1992No.47.]

(3) A person who contravenes the provisions of subsection (1) of this section commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine often thousand naira or to imprisonment for a term of one year or both.

[1992 No. 47.]

3. Obligation to deposit collective agreements with the Minister

(1) Where there exists any collective agreement for the settlement of a trade dispute, at least three copies of the said agreement shall be deposited by the parties thereto with the Minister-

[1988 No. 39, 1977 No. 54.]

(a) in the case of a collective agreement entered into on or after the date of commencement of this Act, within thirty days of that; and

(b) in the case of a collective agreement entered into on or after the date of commencement of this Act, within fourteen days of the execution thereof, and any person who fails to deposit copies of the said agreement within the period prescribed in the foregoing provisions of this subsection, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act and shall, on conviction be liable to a fine of N I 00.

(2) Where, before the commencement of this Act, a collective agreement has been deposited with the Minister pursuant to the provisions of any enactment repealed by this

Act, that agreement shall be deemed to have been deposited in accordance with subsection (1) of this section.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Minister may, upon receipt of copies of a collective agreement deposited in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, make an order, the terms of which may in respect of that agreement specify that the provisions of the agreement or any part thereof as may be stated in the order shall, be binding on the employers and workers to whom they relate.

(4) If any person fails to comply with the terms of the said order he shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to a fine of N I 00 or to imprisonment for a term of six months.

4. Procedure before dispute is reported

(1) I f there exists agreed means for settlement of the dispute apart from this Act, whether by virtue of the provisions of any agreement between organisations representing the interests of employers and organisation of workers or any other agreement, the parties to the dispute shall first attempt to settle it by that means.

(2) I f the attempt to settle the dispute as provided in subsection (1) of this section fails, or if no such agreed means of settlement as are mentioned in that subsection exists, the parties shall within seven days of the failure (or, if no such means exists, within seven days of the date on which the dispute arises or is first apprehended) meet together by themselves or their representatives, under the presidency of a mediator mutually agreed upon and appointed by or on behalf of the parties, with a view to the amicable settlement of the dispute.

5. Apprehension of trade dispute by the Minister

(1) Notwithstanding the foregoing provisions of this Act, where a trade dispute is apprehended by the Minster he may in writing inform the parties or their representative of

his apprehension and of the steps he proposes to take for the purpose of resolving the dispute.

[1977 No. 54.]

(2) Such steps as the Minister may, pursuant to this section, take may include-

(a) the appointment of a conciliator under section 8 of this Act; or

(b) a reference of the dispute or any matter relating thereto for settlement to the Industrial Arbitration Panel under section 9 of this Act; or

(c) a reference of the dispute to a board of inquiry under section 33 of this Act.

6. Reporting of dispute if not amicably settled

(1) If within seven days of the date on which a mediator is appointed in accordance with section 4 (2) of this Act the dispute is not settled, the dispute shall be reported to the Minister by or on behalf of either of the parties within three days of the end of the seven days.

[1988 No. 39.]

(2) A report under this section shall be in writing and shall record the points on which the parties disagree and describe the steps already taken by the parties to reach a settlement.

7. Notice requiring compliance with sections 4 and 6

(1) The Minister shall, if not satisfied that the requirements of sections 4 and 6 of this

Act have been substantially complied with, issue to the parties a notice in writing specifying the steps which must be taken to satisfy those requirements and may specify in the

notice the time within which any particular steps must be taken.

(2) Where after the expiration of the period specified in the notice issued under sub-

section (1) above or, if no period is specified, after the expiration of fourteen days following the date the notice is issued, the dispute remains unsettled and the Minister is satisfied-

(a) that the steps specified in the notice have been taken; or

(b) that either party is, for its part, refusing to take those steps or any of them,

the Minister may proceed to exercise such of his powers under section 8, 9, 17 or 33 of this Act as may appear to him appropriate.

8. Appointment of conciliator, etc.

(1) The Minister may for the purposes of section 7 of this Act appoint a fit person to act as conciliator for the purpose of effecting a settlement of the dispute.

(2) The person appointed as conciliator under this section shall inquire into the causes and circumstances of the dispute and by negotiation with the parties endeavour to bring about a settlement.

(3) If a settlement of this dispute is reached within seven days of his appointment, the person appointed as conciliator shall report the fact to the Minister and shall forward to him a memorandum of the terms of the settlement signed by the representative of the parties, and as from the date on which the memorandum is signed (or such earlier or later

date as may be specified therein), the terms recorded therein shall be binding on the employers and workers to whom those terms relate.

(4) if any person does any act in breach of the terms of a settlement contained in the memorandum signed pursuant to subsection (3) of this section, he shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction-

(a) in the case of a worker or a trade union, to a fine of N200; and

(b) in the case of an employer or an organisation representing employers, to a fine ofN2,000

(5) If a settlement of the dispute is not reached within seven days of his appointment, or if, after attempting negotiation with the parties, he is satisfied that he will not be able to bring about a settlement by means thereof, the person appointed as conciliator shall forthwith report the fact to the Minister.

9. Reference of dispute to arbitration tribunal if conciliation fails

(1) Within fourteen days of the receipt by him of a report under section 6 of this Act,

the Minister shall refer the dispute for settlement to the Industrial Arbitration Panel established under this section.

(2) The Industrial Arbitration Panel (in this section referred to as “the Panel”) shall consist of a chairman, a vice-chairman and not less than ten other members all of whom shall be appointed by the Minister so however that of the ten other members-

(a) two shall be persons nominated by organisations appearing to the Minister as representing the interests of employers; and

(b) two shall be persons nominated by organisations appearing to the Minister as representing the interests of workers.

(3) For the purpose of the settlement of any dispute referred to the Panel by the Minister, the chairman of the Panel shall constitute an arbitration tribunal in accordance with

whichever of paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of subsection (4) of this section appears to him to be appropriate having regard to the subject-matter of the dispute and the means by which an attempt to settle the dispute was made in pursuance of the foregoing provisions of this Act.

(4) An arbitration tribunal may consist of-

(a) a sole arbitrator selected from among the members of the Panel by the chair- man; or

(b) a single arbitrator selected from among the members of the Panel by the

chairman and assisted by assessors appointed in accordance with subsection (5) of this section; or

(c) one or more arbitrators nominated by or on behalf of the employers concerned and an equal number of arbitrators nominated by or on behalf of the workers concerned, all nominations being made from among the members of the Panel, and presided over by the chairman or vice-chairman.

(5) The assessors for an arbitration tribunal which is to consist of a single arbitrator assisted by assessors shall be appointed by the chairman as follows-

(a) one or more shall be persons nominated by or on behalf of the employers concerned from the panel of employers’ representatives drawn up under section 44

of this Act; and

(b) an equal number shall be persons nominated by or on behalf of the workers concerned from the panel of workers’ representatives drawn up under the said section 44 of this Act:

Provided that if after seven days of being required to do so by the chairman the employers or workers concerned or their representatives fail to make a nomination for the purposes of any appointment falling to be made in accordance with this subsection, the chairman may appoint from the appropriate panel such persons as he thinks fit.

(6) The award of an arbitration tribunal consisting of a single arbitrator assisted by

assessors shall be made and issued by the arbitrator only; and if, in the case of an arbitration tribunal consisting of more than one arbitrator, all the members of the tribunal are

unable to agree as to their award, the matter shall be decided by a majority of them.

(7) In this section, “chairman” means the chairman of the Industrial Arbitration Panel appointed pursuant to section (2) of this section; and functions conferred on the chairman may in the absence of the chairman be exercised by the vice-chairman.

10. Tenure of office of members of the Panel

The chairman, the vice-chairman and any other member of the Panel shall, unless he previously resigns or is removed from office, hold office for a period of four years in the first instance which may be renewable only for one more term of four years.

[1977 No. 54. 1988 No. 57.]

11. Tenure of office of chairman and members of the Panel

Subject to the provision of this section, a person holding or appointed to act in the office of the chairman, vice-chairman or who is a member of the Panel shall vacate that

office when he attains the age of 65 years:

Provided that the President may permit such a person to continue in his office or appointment for such period as he may think tit after that person has attained the age of

65 years to enable him to make an award, deliver a decision or do any other thing in relation to proceedings that were commenced before him before he attained the age of 65

years.

12. Provisions supplementary to section 9

(1) The Arbitration and Conciliation Act shall not apply to any proceedings of an arbitration tribunal appointed under section 9 of this Act or to any award made by such a

tribunal.

[Cap. A18.]

(2) Where an arbitration tribunal appointed under section 9 of this Act consists of a single arbitrator assisted by assessors and any vacancy occurs in the number of assessors, the chairman of the Industrial Arbitration Panel may either-

(a) direct the tribunal to act notwithstanding the vacancy; or

(b) fill the vacancy by appointing another assessor in accordance with section 9 (3) of this Act.

(3) Where an arbitration tribunal appointed under section 9 of this Act, consists of more than one arbitrator and any vacancy occurs in their number the tribunal may, with the consent of the nominating party, act notwithstanding the vacancy.

(4) An act, proceeding or determination of an arbitration tribunal appointed under section 9 of this Act shall not be questioned on the ground that a member or assessor was

not validly appointed or on the ground of any unfilled vacancy authorised by subsection (2) or (3) of this section.

(5) Where a trade dispute referred to an arbitration tribunal under section 9 of this Act involves questions as to wages, hours or work or any other terms or conditions as to affecting employment which are regulated by any statutory provisions, the tribunal shall

not make any awards, that are less favourable to the workers concerned than those provisions.

In this subsection, “statutory provisions” means provisions contained in any enactment in force in Nigeria or any part thereof, or in any instrument made in the exercise

of any power conferred by any such law.

(6) The Minister may, with the approval of the Minister for Finance, pay to any arbitrator or assessor appointed under section 9 of this Act such remuneration as he thinks fit:

Provided that no remuneration, fees or allowances shall be paid to any public officer other than such allowances for expenses as may be expressly authorised for the purposes of this section by the Federal Civil Service Commission or the Civil Service Commission of the State in question, as the case may be.

13. Issue of tribunal’s awards, and procedure thereon

(1) An arbitration tribunal constituted under section 9 of this Act-

(a) shall make its award within 21 days of its constitution or such longer period as the Minister may in any particular case allow; and

(b) on making its award shall forthwith send a copy thereof to the Minister, and shall not communicate the award to the parties affected.

(2) Subject to subsection (3) of this section, on receipt of a copy of the award of the

tribunal the Minister shall immediately cause to be given to the parties or their representatives, and to be published in such other manner (if any) as he thinks fit, a notice-

(a) setting out the awards;

(b) specifying the time (not being more than seven days from the publication of the notice) within which the manner in which notice of objection to the award may be given to the Minister by or on behalf of either party to the dispute; and

(c) stating that, except where notice of objection to the award is given within the time and in the manner so specified by one or both of the parties, the award will be confirmed by the Minister.

(3) Where on the receipt of an award of the tribunal the Minister considers it desirable to do so he may refer the award back to the tribunal for reconsideration and shall not

exercise his power under subsection (2) of this section until the award has been reconsidered by the tribunal.

(4) If no notice of objection to the award of the tribunal is given to the Minister

within the time and in the manner specified in the notice under subsection (2) of this section, the Minister shall publish in the Federal Gazette a notice confirming the award and

the award shall be binding on the employers and workers to whom it relates as from the date of the award (or such earlier or later date as may be specified in the award).

14. Reference of dispute to National Industrial Court if tribunal’s award is objected to

(1) If notice of objection to the award of an arbitration tribunal appointed under section 9 of this Act is given to the Minister within the time and in the manner specified in

the notice under section 13 (2) of this Act, the Minister shall forthwith refer the dispute to the National Industrial Court established by this Act.

[1977 No. 54.]

(2) The award of the National Industrial Court shall be binding on the employers and workers to whom it relates-

(a) as from the date of the award or such date as may be specified in the order; or

(b) where, subject to subsection (3) of section 21, there is an appeal on the question of fundamental rights as contained in Chapter IV of the Constitution of the

Federal Republic of Nigeria as from the date of the determination of the appeal.

[1992 No. 47.]

(3) In so far as the terms and conditions of employment to be observed by an employer in accordance with any award made by the National Industrial Court under this

section are more favourable than any statutory provisions affecting the terms and conditions of employment of the workers concerned, the award shall prevail.

In this subsection, “statutory provisions” means provision contained in any writ- ten law in force in Nigeria or any part thereof, or any instrument made in the exercise of any power conferred by any such law.

(4) Any person who fails to comply with an award of a tribunal as confirmed by the Minister pursuant to this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction-

(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of N200 or imprisonment for a term of six months; and

(b) in the case of a body corporate, to a fine of N2,000.

(5) Any person who after conviction in respect of an offence under subsection (4) of this section continues to fail to comply with an award as mentioned therein shall be guilty of a further offence and shall be liable on conviction to a tine of N200 or N2,OOO, as the case may be, for each day on which the offence continues.

(6) Where an offence under this section by a body corporate is found to have been committed with the consent or connivance of, or attributable to any act or default on the

part of any person in apparent control of the body corporate, the person or persons in apparent control and the body corporate shall be deemed to have committed the offence.

15. Interpretation of award of arbitration tribunal or National Industrial Court

(1) If after an award of-

(a) an arbitration tribunal appointed under section 9 of this Act; or

(b) the National Industrial Court,

has become binding on the employers and workers to whom it relates, any question arises as to the interpretation of the award, the Minister or any party to the award may make an application to the National Industrial Court for a decision on that question.

(2) On an application under this section, the National Industrial Court shall decide the matter after hearing the parties to the award or, with the prior consent of the parties, without hearing them; and the decision of the Court, which, subject to subsection (3) of section 21, shall be final, and shall be deemed to form part of the original award and shall have effect accordingly.

[1992 No. 47.]

16. Interpretation of agreements

(1) Notwithstanding anything in the foregoing provisions of this Act, the Minister or any party to a collective agreement may make an application to the National Industrial Court for a decision of that Court as to the interpretation of any term or provision of the collective agreement.

(2) On an application under this section the Court shall decide the matter after hearing the Minister or, as the case may be, the parties to the collective agreement, or with the

consent of the Minister or the parties, without hearing them; and the decision of the Court shall be final and conclusive with respect to the interpretation of the term or provision of the collective agreement concerned.

17. Direct reference to National Industrial Court in certain special cases

If in the case of any trade dispute of which he has received a report under section 6 of this Act it appears to the Minister-

(a) that the dispute is one to which workers employed in any essential service are a party; or

(b) that in the circumstances of the case reference of the dispute to an arbitration tribunal would not be appropriate,

then, within seven days of the receipt by him of a report under section 8 (5) of this Act, the Minister shall refer the dispute directly to the National Industrial Court.

18. Prohibition of lock-outs and strikes before issue of award of National Industrial Court

(1) An employer shall not declare or take part in a lock-out and a worker shall not take part in a strike in connection with any trade dispute where-

(a) the procedure specified in section 4 or 6 of this Act has not been complied with in relation to the dispute; or

(b) a conciliator has been appointed under section 8 of this Act for the purpose of effecting a settlement of the dispute; or

(c) the dispute has been referred for settlement to the Industrial Arbitration Panel under section 9 of this Act; or

(d) an award by an arbitration tribunal has become binding under section 13 (3) of this Act; or

(e) the dispute has subsequently been referred to the National Industrial Court under section 14 (1) or 17 of this Act; or

(f) the National Industrial Court has issued an award on the reference.

(2) Any person who contravenes subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction-

(a) in the case of an individual, to a fine of N100 or to imprisonment for a term of six months;

( b) in the case of a body corporate, to a fine of N1 ,000.

(3) It is hereby declared that where a dispute is settled under the foregoing provisions of this Act either by agreement or by the acceptance of an award made by an arbitration tribunal under section 13 of this Act, that dispute shall be deemed for the purposes of this Act to have ended; and accordingly any further trade dispute involving the same matters (including a trade dispute as to the interpretation of an award made as aforesaid by which

the original dispute was settled) shall be treated for the purposes of this section as a different trade dispute.

19. Prohibition of grant of general wage increase

(1) No employer shall grant a general or percentage wage increase to any group of employees without the approval of the Minister.

(2) Any employer who contravenes subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence and shall on conviction be liable-

(a) in the case of an individual, to imprisonment for a term of three years; and

(b) in the case of a body corporate, to a fine of N25,000.

(3) A tribunal or court under this Act shall not have power to grant any general or percentage wage increase and shall not have power to approve any such grant unless the approval of the Minister has been obtained as required under subsection (1) of this section.

PART II

The National Industrial Court

[Part II (sections 20 to 32) repealed by 2006 No. 37, s. 53 (1).]

PART III

Board of inquiry

33. Power to appoint board of inquiry

(1) Where any trade dispute exists or is apprehended, the Minister may cause inquiry

to be made into the causes and circumstances of the dispute and, if he thinks fit, may refer any matter appearing to him to be connected with or relevant to the dispute to a board

of inquiry appointed for the purpose by the Minister; and the board shall inquire into the matter referred to it and report thereon to the Minister.

(2) The Minister may refer any other matter connected with industrial conditions in Nigeria to a board of inquiry appointed for the purpose by the Minster; and the board shall inquire into the matter referred to it and report thereon to the Minister.

(3) A board of inquiry appointed under this section shall consist of a chairman and such other persons as the Minister thinks fit to appoint or may, if the Minister thinks fit, consist of one person only.

(4) A board of inquiry consisting of two or more persons may act notwithstanding any vacancy in the number of members.

(5) The Minister may, with the approval of the Minister for Finance, pay to any member of a board of inquiry appointed under this section such remuneration as he thinks fit:

Provided that no remuneration, fees or allowances shall be paid to any public officer other than such allowances for expenses as may be expressly authorised for the purposes of this section by the Civil Service Commission of the Federation or the State in question, as the case may be.

34. Report of board of inquiry

(1) A board of inquiry appointed under section 33 of this Act may, if it thinks fit, make interim reports.

(2) Every report of such a board of inquiry, including any interim report and any minority report, shall be submitted to the Minister.

(3) Subject to subsection (4) of this section, the Minister may cause to be published, at such time or times and in such manner as he thinks fit, any information obtained or conclusions reached by any such board of inquiry in the course of or as a result of its inquiry.

(4) Except with the consent required by this subsection there shall not be included in any report made by such a board of inquiry, or in any publication authorised by the Min- ister under this section, any information obtained by the board in the course of its mquiry.

(a) with respect to any trade union; or

(b) with respect to any particular business or undertaking, whether carried on by a particular individual, a firm or a company or other body corporate,

being in either case information which is not available otherwise than through evidence given at the inquiry.

(5) The consent required by subsection (4) of this section is, in the case of information with respect to a trade union, consent given on behalf of the union by an official

thereof authorised by the union to give that consent and, in the case of information with respect to any business or undertaking, consent given by or on behalf of the individual, firm, company or other body corporate carrying on the business or undertaking.

(6) If any individual member of a board of inquiry appointed under section 33 of this Act, or any other person concerned in the inquiry, discloses any such information as is mentioned in subsection (4) of this section without the consent required by that subsec- tion, he shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to a fine of N200.

PART IV

Supplementary provisions: the National Industrial Court, arbitration tribunals and boards of inquiry

35. Bodies to which Part IV applies

This Part of this Act applies to the following bodies, that is to say-

(a) the National Industrial Court;

(b) any arbitration tribunal constituted under Part I of this Act; and

(c) any board of inquiry appointed under Part III of this Act.

36. Powers of such bodies

(1) For the purpose of dealing with any trade dispute or other matter referred to it under this Act, a body to which this Part of this Act applies may-

(a) require any person to furnish, in writing or otherwise, such particulars relating to the matter referred to it as the body may require;

(b) require any person to attend before the body and give evidence, on oath or affirmation or otherwise, with respect to any matter relevant to the matter referred to it;

(c) compel the production before it of books, papers, documents and other things for the purpose of enabling them to be examined or referred to so far as may be necessary in order to obtain information relevant to the matter referred to the body;

(d) consider and deal with the matter referred to it in the absence of any party who has been duly summoned or served with a notice to appear;

(e) admit or exclude the public or the press, or both, from any of its sittings;

(j) adjourn from time to time; and

(g) generally give such directions and do all such things as are necessary or expe- dient for dealing speedily and justly with the matter referred to it.

(2) For the purpose of enforcing any summons, direction or order issued, given or

made by virtue of subsection (1) of this section, a body to which this Part of this Act applies, shall have the like powers as are exercisable by the Supreme Court of Nigeria.

(3) If any person, on being required by virtue of this section to furnish any particulars, answer any question or produce any book, paper, document or other thing, objects to

doing so on the ground that to do so would tend to incriminate him or on any other lawful ground, he shall not be bound to comply with the requirement and shall not be liable to any punishment for refusing to do so.

(4) Any person who commits an act of contempt, whether the act is or is not commit- ted in the presence of the members of any such body as aforesaid sitting in the exercise of its functions under this Act, shall be liable on summary conviction before a High Court to a fine of N200 or to imprisonment for three months.

37. Practice and procedure

(1) Subject to the provisions of this Act, the Chief Justice of Nigeria may make rules as to the practice and procedure to be followed by the National Industrial Court.

(2) The Minister may make regulations regulating the exercise of the functions of any arbitration tribunal constituted under Part I of this Act and any board of inquiry appointed under Part III of this Act.

continued on page T8 – 19

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act and of any rules or regulations made under this section, a body to which this section applies-

(a) may regulate its procedure and proceedings as it thinks fits, and shall not be bound to act in any formal manner; and

(b) shall not be bound by any rules of evidence, but may inform itself on any matter in such manner as it thinks just.

38. Appearance by legal practitioners

In any proceedings before the National Industrial Court or an arbitration tribunal constituted under Part I of this Act, either party may appear by a legal practitioner; and in

any proceedings before a board of inquiry appointed under Part III of this Act, the board may, at its discretion, permit any interested person to appear before it by a legal practitioner.

39. Restriction on publication of report of proceedings

(1) Where, in the case of any sitting or part of a sitting of a body to which this Part of

this Act applies, the press have been admitted thereto, but not otherwise, a fair and accurate report or summary of the proceedings during that sitting or part (including any evidence heard in the course thereof) may be published, but until the award of the Court or

tribunal, or the result of the enquiry, has been officially published, no comment shall be published in respect of the proceedings or the evidence.

Any person who contravenes subsection (1) of this section shall be guilty of an offence and be liable on conviction to a fine of N200.

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