The National Industrial Court, NIC, sitting in Abuja, has declined to hear the federal government’s application for an order directing the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to suspend their ongoing strike action immediately.
After hearing from Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, counsel for the striking varsity lecturers, the court, in a ruling by Justice Polycarp Hamman, refused to hear the application.
Mr. James Igwe, FG’s lawyer, attempted to persuade the court to hear the claimants’ interlocutory application for an injunction against ASUU at the resumed proceedings in the matter on Friday.
He told the court that the situation was not only urgent, but also of great national importance, given that millions of students had been sent home since February 14.
“Section 47 of the Trade Dispute Act gives your lordship the power to direct that no worker should continue on strike pending the hearing and determination of the applications,” he argued.
He urged the court to order the ASUU to return to the classroom in the interim, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.
Mr. Falana, SAN, counsel for ASUU, however, opposed the application on the grounds that the case was originally scheduled for further consideration.
He contended that because the case was for mention, FG’s application for such an injunctive order could not be heard.
Furthermore, Falana, SAN, informed the court that his clients will meet with relevant stakeholders, including members of the House of Representatives, on September 20 to find a solution to the vexing issues.
The ongoing strike continues.