Nurses drag minsters of health, others to court over the new Japa rule


Several nurses in the country have filed a lawsuit against the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and the Minister of Health, among others, regarding the recently implemented certificate verification guidelines.On February 7, 2024, the NMCN released a circular that updated the guidelines for requesting certificate verification for nurses and midwives.


The council emphasized that applicants must have two years of post-qualification experience from the date of issuance of the permanent practicing license to obtain verification of certificates from foreign nursing boards and councils.

The new guidelines took effect on March 1, 2024.


There have been a string of protests by nurses in Abuja and Lagos, calling for the reversal of the new guidelines.As a result, a group of upset nurses has taken legal action against several government officials, seeking the suspension of the policy.Desmond Aigbe, Kelvin Ossai, Catherine Olatunji-Kuyoro, Tamunoibi Berry, Osemwengie Osagie, Abiola Olaniyan, Idowu Olabode, and Olumide Olurankinse have filed a complaint in the suit with the number NICN/ABJ/76/2024.


They are asking the court to stop the defendants or their agents from putting the NMCN circular into effect until the lawsuit is over.The nurses strongly requested that the court temporarily halt the implementation of the new guidelines.


The reliefs requested include an order to temporarily halt the implementation of the revised guidelines for verification of certificates with the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria. The second defendant issued a circular on February 7, 2024, which originally scheduled the implementation of these guidelines for March 7, 2024.


The claimants and applicants are seeking this order until the hearing and resolution of their originating summons in this case.“A temporary order has been issued to prevent the defendants and anyone acting on their behalf from impeding the constitutional rights and freedom of nurses and midwives in Nigeria to pursue career opportunities and training abroad.


The judge, Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae, has decided to adjourn the matter until May 20 for a hearing.

She instructed the Federal Ministry of Health and the Attorney General of the Federation, who were without legal representation in court, to accept the hearing notice.

By Nnaemeka Odenigbo

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