The Jurisdiction of the NICN: Loans, Mortgages, & other employment-related Arrangements (Review)

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) is a specialized court in Nigeria that deals with matters related to labour and employment law, as well as other industrial disputes. While the primary focus of the NICN is on labour and employment matters, it also has jurisdiction over certain related issues, including loans, mortgages, and other employment-related arrangements to the extent that these matters are connected to, or arise within the employment context.

Hon. Justice B.B. Kanyip (President, NICN) and Justice Ikechi Gerald Nweneka (Judges of the NICN) gave an in-depth analysis as to the Jurisdiction of the NICN as regards Loans, Mortgages and other employment related arrangements at the second edition of the Employment Law Training organized by the NBA Institute of Continuing Legal Education (NBA-ICLE).

Here’s an overview of the NICN’s jurisdiction that was discussed:

• Employment Contracts and Agreements: The NICN has jurisdiction over disputes arising from employment contracts and agreements, including issues related to terms and conditions of employment, employment contracts, and employment-related benefits. This includes disputes involving wrongful termination, breach of employment contracts, and disputes related to employee benefits such as pensions and gratuities.

•Unfair Termination and Redundancy: If an employee believes that their termination was unfair or that they were made redundant without proper justification, they can bring their case before the NICN. The court will evaluate whether the termination or redundancy was in line with labour laws and employment agreements.

•Trade Unions and Industrial Actions: The NICN has jurisdiction over matters related to trade unions, including disputes between trade unions and employers. It also deals with cases involving industrial actions such as strikes, lockouts, and picketing that may arise during labour disputes.

Workplace Discrimination and Harassment: If an employee believes they have been discriminated against or harassed at the workplace on the basis of gender, religion, ethnicity, or other protected characteristics, they can file a case with the NICN to seek redress.

•Loans and Mortgages in Employment Context: While loans and mortgages themselves are typically not within the primary jurisdiction of the NICN, if there is a dispute related to loans or mortgages that arises from an employment context, such as an employer providing loans to employees as part of their employment package or issues related to mortgage deductions from employee salaries, the NICN may have jurisdiction to hear such cases.

Other Employment-Related Arrangements: The NICN may also have jurisdiction over disputes related to other employment-related arrangements, such as stock options, profit-sharing schemes, or other financial arrangements between employers and employees, especially if they are governed by employment contracts or labour laws.

It’s important to note that while the NICN has jurisdiction over these matters when they are employment-related, other specialized courts or regular civil courts may handle cases unrelated to employment. The specific jurisdiction and procedures of the NICN can be complex, and individuals and businesses involved in disputes should seek legal advice to determine the appropriate forum for their case.