Femi Falana, human rights advocate, says the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) did not engage in contempt of court on the recent verdict of the national industrial court.
On September 21, the industrial court ordered ASUU to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.
Polycarp Hamman, the judge, granted the federal government’s application for an interlocutory injunction to restrain ASUU from continuing with the strike.
Subsequently, the union filed an appeal against the judgment alongside a stay of execution.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home the demand for improved funding for universities, review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues.
Over the weekend, Chris Ngige, minister of labour and productivity, warned ASUU against the consequences of contempt of court.
Reacting to Ngige’s comments, Falana, counsel to ASUU, in a statement on Monday, said the application for the leave of the court of appeal against the injunction is the same as an appeal under the rules of the court.
The human rights lawyer said ASUU cannot be accused of contempt of court because the union is seeking to appeal and stay the execution of the order.
“The minister is unaware that the national industrial court lacks the jurisdictional competence to intervene in the resolution of a trade dispute that has not been determined by the industrial arbitration panel,” Falana said.
“However, contrary to the claim of the Minister that the ASUU has not filed an appeal, the application for the leave of the court of appeal to appeal against the interlocutory order of injunction is deemed to be an appeal under the rules of the court of appeal.
“The application is equally accompanied by a motion for stay of execution of the said order. To that extent, the members of the ASUU cannot be accused of engaging in contempt of the order of the national industrial court in so far as they are seeking to appeal and stay the execution of the said order.
“Having exercised their constitutional right of appeal and prayed the court of appeal to stay the execution of the interlocutory order of the national industrial court pending the determination of the appeal, the members of ASUU cannot be said to have engaged in any form of contempt.
“However, instead of chasing the shadow by threatening the ASUU with contempt of court and proscription, the federal government should adopt urgent measures to end the strike that has paralysed academic activities in public universities for the past seven months.
In particular, the federal government should take advantage of the intervention of the leadership of the house of representatives to resolve all outstanding issues and end the strike as soon as possible.”
NLC, TUC, ASUU, Others Defy Court Order As They Begin Strike
The NLC had on Monday announced the commencement of the industrial action from midnight of Monday, 13 November, in defiance to a restraining order issued by the National Industrial Court in Abuja on Friday.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and its affiliates including the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Tuesday, began a nationwide strike, in defiance to a restraining court order barring them from embarking on the industrial action.
The two major labour unions, NLC and TUC, had declared the strike, following the brutalisation of the NLC president, Joe Ajaero, in Imo State on 1 November. Mr Ajaero was attacked in Owerri, the state capital, during an NLC protest against the Imo State government over alleged maltreatment of workers in the state.
The unions on Monday directed their members to down tools across the country as from Tuesday.
This is despite the restraining order issued by the National Industrial Court, in Abuja, on Friday, stopping the labour unions from embarking on the strike. The judge, Benedict Kanyip, ordered the two major labour unions to stop their industrial action scheduled to commence 14 November.
The interim order followed an ex-parte request by the Nigerian government through the office of Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, due to the Labour unions’ threat to embark on strike.
Ignoring the court order, ASUU President, Emmanuel Osodeke, a professor of soil science, on Monday, directed compliance with the strike declaration in a letter to ASUU zonal coordinators and branch chairpersons across the country.
“As an affiliate of NLC, all members of our union are hereby directed to join this action of NLC to protect the interest of Nigerian workers and the leadership of the union. Zonal coordinators and branch chairpersons should immediately mobilise our members to participate in the action,” ASUU President, Mr Osodeke, wrote in a letter to zonal and branch chairpersons of the union.
When PREMIUM TIMES asked Mr Osodeke if he was aware of the subsisting court order stopping the strike, he said the question should be directed to the NLC which called for the strike.
“Call the NLC, ASUU did not declare a strike, NLC declared the strike. Call NLC,” he said in a telephone interview on Tuesday morning.
But the NLC’s head of information, Benson Upah, did not respond to phone calls and messages sent to his line requesting for comments, as of the time of filing this report.
The labour unions had, on Monday, refused to acknowledge the court order while directing their members to withdraw their services as from Tuesday.
The post NLC, TUC, ASUU, Others Defy Court Order As They Begin Strike appeared first on Jomog.
BREAKINGS.1st Batch of Adustech…
1st Batch of Adustech wudil 2022/2023 Admission list is out
Kindly visit https://kustwudil.edu.ng/admission_list to check ur admission
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Al-istiqama University Sumaila Releases Cut-off Marks for UTME and DE Candidates.
AL-ISTIQAMA UNIVERSITY, SUMAILA SUMAILA LOCAL GOVERNMENT, KANO STATE
(OFFICE OF THE REGISTRAR)
14TH SEPTEMBER, 2023
COMMENCEMENT OF UTME / DIRECT ENTRY ONLINE SCREENING FOR THE 2023/2024 ACADEMIC SESSION
The post Al-istiqama University Sumaila Releases Cut-off Marks for UTME and DE Candidates. appeared first on Nigerian Students.
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