FG, ASUU Legal Tussle Over Varsities Strike: Court Adjourns Case Till September 16 - EDU-BIZNEWS


Monday, September 12, 2022

FG, ASUU Legal Tussle Over Varsities Strike: Court Adjourns Case Till September 16


The legal tussle between Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities whose members are on indefinite strike in public universities, has been shifted to Friday,16th of September by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria 

The Federal Government had filed a suit in the  court against ASUU over the industrial action embarked upon by the union about seven months ago.

Government is requesting the court  sitting in Abuja, an order for ASUU to resume its continuous engagement to address issues in the dispute.

Minister of Labour and Employment Dr.Chris Ngige had on Thursday 8th of September in a statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations in the ministry , Olajide Oshundun, indicated that the matter was referred to the registrar of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria 

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) during the proceedings on Monday, sought to join the suit as an interested party.

SERAP’s lawyer, Ebun-Olu Adegnoruwa (SAN) said his client had filed a similar suit to compel the Federal Government to honour its 2009 agreement with the striking lecturers.

He said SERAP’s request to join in the matter is based on the need to forestall the duplicity of outcomes concerning the industrial dispute. However, counsel to the Federal Government, Tijjani Gazali (SAN) opposes SERAP’s application to consolidate the suits.

He told the judge that SERAP’s application was premature as the case was billed for mention on Monday.  Counsel to ASUU, Femi Falana, however, argued that he was aware of the efforts by lawyers to file court papers in the suit on Monday.

The judge ruled that the suit is not ripe for consolidation by SERAP. The judge said he was only presiding over the matter as a vacation judge and that the case would be assigned to another judge for adjudication.

He ordered the parties in the suit to file and exchange court documents as he adjourned the matter to Friday, 16 September 2022.

Speaking to journalists outside the court, counsel to ASUU, Falana, berated the Federal Government for going to the court. He said the Federal Government should stop trying to blackmail ASUU, maintaining that university lecturers have not stopped working.

On his part, the counsel to the Federal Government, Tijanni Gazali, said ASUU cannot dictate to the Federal Government what platform its members are to be paid.

He said the agreement reached between the Federal Government and ASUU has been substantially implemented and that details of their agreement will form part of the papers they will be filing before the court.

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