The National Industrial Court, has adjourned the suit filed by the Federal Government challenging the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to Monday 19th September for hearing of the Interlocutory Application of the federal government.
Justice Polycarp Hamman adjourned the case after counsel to ASUU informed the court that the federal government had served him with an interlocutory application.
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At the resumed sitting, counsel to the Federal government James Igwe, asked the court to give the suit an accelerated hearing due the urgency of the matter to enable students return to school.
Mr Igwe told the court that since the matter is already before the court, it would be proper for the strike to be called off, pending the determination of the suit.
But Counsel to ASUU, Femi Falana argued that the matter was adjourned for further mention and not for hearing.
He noted that ASUU has been served with the federal government’s Interlocutory injunction.
Mr Falana added that ASUU is currently meeting with stakeholders to ensure that the lingering crises is resolved.
Justice Polycarp Hamman, after listening to both parties subsequently adjourned the suit to Monday 19th 2022.
Meanwhile, National coordinator of a new academic union called, Congress of university academic, Niyi Sunmonu said the association has never been on strike, although the union was created in 2018 and is yet to receive it certification from the Ministry of Labour and investment comprises of university lecturers.
CONUA believes the federal government’s lawsuit against ASUU will have an impact on them, so they are seeking legal grounds to join the suit despite not yet being certified.
In a letter dated 8th September addressed to the chief registrar of the industrial court, Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige had asked that the suit be given an accelerated hearing in order to resolve the dispute between the union and the government.
He prayed the court to interpret in its entirety the provisions of Section 18 LFN 2004, especially as it applies to the cessation of strike action once a trade dispute is being resolved.