Court adjourns FG’s suit against ASUU

A SUIT the Federal government filed against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on the lecturers’ protracted strike has been adjourned to Friday this week for further hearing.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had asked the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) to order ASUU to resume work as the government continues to engage the union to address the dispute.

At Monday’s proceedings, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) sought to join the suit as an interested party.

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

Adegoruwa said SERAP’s request to be joined in the matter was based on the need to forestall the duplicity of outcomes concerning the industrial dispute.

But the counsel to the Federal government, Tijjani Gazali, opposed SERAP’s application to consolidate the suits.

Gazali told the judge, P. I. Hamman, 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.

But Hamman ruled that the suit was not ripe for consolidation by SERAP.

He 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, and adjourned the matter to Friday, September 16, 2022.






     

     

    Speaking with journalists outside the court, Falana berated the Federal government for going to the court.

    He said the government should stop trying to “blackmail” ASUU, maintaining that university lecturers have not stopped working.

    But Gazali said ASUU could not dictate to its employer what platform its members were to be paid.

    He said the agreement reached between the government and ASUU had been substantially implemented, and that details of their agreement would form part of the papers they would file before the court.

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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