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Strike: ASUU, FG reject out-of-court settlement offer

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THE FEDERAL government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) could not settle out of court as the Court of Appeal in Abuja advised on Wednesday, October 5.

The court had urged counsels to the government and ASUU, Femi Falana and James Igwe respectively, to recommend the advice to the litigants as a faster way to end ASUU’s nearly eight-month-old strike. 

The court gave the plaintiff and defendants 24 hours for the settlement.

However, the lawyers appeared in court today to continue with the case.

ASUU is appealing the National Industrial Court’s judgment ordering its members to return to work.

Falana had on September 23 filed 14 grounds of appeal against the judgment.

ASUU, which downed tools on February 14 over unmet demands, has been at loggerheads with the government over the latter’s failure to implement an agreement it reached with the union in 2009.

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The group is also demanding the following in addition to the agreement:

  • Replacement of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
  • Payment of outstanding arrears of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
  • Release of an agreed sum of money for revitalising public universities (federal and state).
  • Addressing proliferation and governance issues in state universities.
  • Settling promotion arrears.
  • Releasing withheld salaries of academics.
  • Payment of outstanding third-party deductions.

At the court today, Falana and Igwe, both senior advocates, told the court they could not amicably resolve the crisis and were ready for the appeal.

The ICIR reports that apart from the appeal, ASUU has vowed to sue the government for registering its break-away faction, the Congress of Nigerian Universities Academics (CONUA).

Falana disclosed the planned litigation on Channels TV today.

He described the existence of two rival unions in a sector as illegal.

The ICIR reports that ASUU’s strike has forced thousands of students in most public universities in the country to their homes, as all efforts by the government and major stakeholders to resolve the crisis have failed.

 

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