Foremost human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has said the third alteration to the Nigerian constitution carried out by the national assembly in 2011 vested the national industrial court with the jurisdiction and power to deal with any matter connected with or pertaining to the application of any international convention, treaty or protocol ratified by Nigeria with respect to labour, employment, workplace, industrial relations or matters connected therewith as well as international labour standards.
This dislosure was made by Falana while delivering the 2019 annual lecture of the Michael Imoudu National Institute of Labour Studies at Ilorin, Kwara Srate on Friday.
Falana said section 254 (C) of the constitution radically amended and created a new labour law regime in Nigeria, adding that section 12 which provides that treaties have no force of law in Nigeria unless they are domesticated and enacted into law by the national assembly has ceased to apply to ILO conventions and other labour related treaties.
The human rights lawyer urged Nigerian workers to take advantage of the revolutionary constitutional amendment to enforce their rights guaranteed by the Constitution, African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, Univeral Declaration of Human Rights, International Covenant on civil and political rights as well as International Covenant on social, economic and cultural rights.
Falana lauded the judges of the national industrial court for deciding labour matters in line with the provisions of the ILO conventions and international best practices.
He cited a number of cases against sexual harassment, discrimination against women and other unfair labour practices in which the rights of workers to dignity have been upheld by the national industrial court.
Falana pointed out that the failure of any employer of labour to pay the new minimum wage of N30,000 per month constituted a criminal offence punishable under the National Mininum Wage Act, 2019.