FG Vs ASUU: Court Adjourns Case To Sept 16

FG Vs ASUU: Court Adjourns Case To Sept 16

By Chika Mefor-Nwachukwu

The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), on Monday, adjourned the suit brought before it by the Federal Government challenging the ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) till September 16, 2022 for further mention.

Upon the commencement of the case in court on Monday, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) through it counsel, Ebun-Olu Adegnoruwa (SAN),appealed to the court presided over by Justice Polycarp Hamman to be joined in the suit as an interested party as it has filed a similar suit asking the court to compel the Federal Government to honour its 2009 agreement with the striking University lecturers.

The counsel representing the Federal Government in the suit, Tijjani Gazali (SAN) however opposed Adegboruwa’s application, saying that, SERAP’s application was premature as the case was billed for mention on Monday.

Justice Hamman, in his ruling on the SERAP’s joinder application, stated that the  suit was not ripe for consolidation.

He disclosed that he was only presiding as a vacation judge as the case would be assigned to another judge for adjudication after the annual vacation of the court and ordered both parties to file and exchange court documents.

He therefore adjourned the case till Friday, September 16, 2022.

Speaking to newsmen after the court proceedings, counsel to ASUU, Femi Falana (SAN) said the federal government  often adopts tactics that have a way of prolonging strikes.

Falana who was in company of ASUU president, Emmanuel Osodeke and other officials of the union,the federal government used the same approach last year when the resident doctors were in strike.

Also while speaking to press, Adegboruwa said that the Federal government had abdicated its responsibility of funding public universities, necessitating the filing of SERAP’s suit.

Recall that the  federal government has approached the National Industrial Court (NICN) sitting in Abuja, requesting an order for the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to return to the classroom while the dispute is being addressed.

A statement by the Head, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, said the matter was on Thursday, 8 September, referred to the Registrar of NICN by the Minister, Chris Ngige.

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Ebun-Olu AdegnoruwaPolycarp Hamman