The President of the National Industrial Court, Justice Benedict Kanyip, has dismissed the case filed by the Incorporated Trustees of Social-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and 5 Nigerian Students against the President Federal Republic of Nigeria, Minister of Labour and Productivity, and the Attorney General of the Federation for lack of locus standi.
Justice Kanyip held that SERAP’s assertion as a watchdog for transparency, accountability, protection and promotion of the rule of law does not make them the policeman of a trade dispute such as that between the FGN and ASUU.
The Court declared SERAP and 5 Others as busybodies and meddlesome interlopers, and for not being privy to the FGN-ASUU agreement(s), they have no locus standi to bring the suit.
The 1st claimant- SERAP is a civil society organization registered under the Companies and Allied Matters Act (CAMA) with the mandate to promote human rights, democracy, media freedom and anti-corruption in Nigeria, among other objectives.
SERAP and 5 Others had asked for a declaration that the refusal of the FG to implement the terms of the FGN-ASUU Renegotiated 2009 Agreements and the 2020 Memorandum of Action which has occasioned the prolonged strike action is unlawful, inconsistent and incompatible with Nigeria’s human rights obligations
This they say is a violation of the citizens’ right to quality education guaranteed under the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights, International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights 1976 among others.
In defense, the defendants- the President Federal Republic of Nigeria, Minister of Labour and Productivity, and the Attorney General of the Federation filed a preliminary objection and prayed the court to dismiss the case on the ground that SERAP and 5 Others are not parties to the FG – ASUU ‘re-negotiated 2009 agreements and the 2020 Memorandum of Action’, and also lack the legal capacities to enforce the said ‘agreements’ even if made for their own benefits.