ASUU Strike: Court Adjourns Case Till September 16
The Federal Government’s lawsuit against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over the union’s recent industrial action of about seven months has been adjourned by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria until September 16, 2022.
The Federal Government requested an order from the Abuja court for ASUU to resume negotiations as it continues to work with the union to resolve their conflict.
According to the statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, said that the matter was sent to the registrar of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria by the Minister, Chris Ngige on Thursday 8 September.
The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) requested to join the case as an interested party at Monday’s sessions.
Ebun-Olu Adegnoruwa (SAN), the attorney for SERAP, said that his client had filed a similar lawsuit to compel the Federal Government to fulfil its 2009 agreement with the lecturers on strike.
According to him, SERAP’s desire to participate in the case is motivated by the need to prevent contradictory outcomes in relation to the labour dispute. Tijjani Gazali (SAN), the Federal Government’s attorney, rejects SERAP’s request to combine the lawsuits.
He informed the judge that the case was scheduled for mention on Monday, making SERAP’s application premature. Femi Falana, the attorney for ASUU, disagreed, saying that he was aware of the attempts made by attorneys to file court documents in the lawsuit on Monday.
The judge determined that SERAP should not consolidate the case. The judge stated that he was simply serving as the case’s vacation judge and that another judge will be assigned to decide the case.
He adjourned the matter toFriday, September 16, 2022, and directed the parties to the lawsuit to file and exchange court documents.
Outside the court, Falana, the attorney for ASUU, criticized the Federal Government for going to court. He insisted that university lecturers are still working and urged the Federal Government to cease trying to intimidate ASUU.
According to Tijanni Gazali, counsel to the Federal Government, ASUU cannot tell the Federal Government what platform its members should be paid for.
He said the contents of the deal agreed between the Federal Government and ASUU will be included in the papers they will be bringing before the court, and it has been implemented in large part.