On Tuesday, the Court of Appeal in Abuja will hear the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU)’ appeal against the National Industrial Court’s verdict.
This comes as negotiations and conversations between the House of Representatives, led by Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila, and the union continue. Today, a group led by Gbajabiamila will meet with President Muhammadu Buhari (ret.).
On September 23, 2022, ASUU filed 14 grounds for appeal against Justice Hamman Polycarp’s ruling of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, which ordered that the striking lecturers return to work pending the outcome of a suit filed by the Federal Government to challenge the legality of their strike.
The interim injunction directing ASUU members to resume work followed an application the Federal Government filed through its lawyer, Mr James Igwe.
Justice Polycarp held that the order was both in the national interest and for the sake of undergraduates in the country that had been at home since February 14. He held that the strike action was detrimental to public university students that couldn’t afford to attend private tertiary institutions.
However, ASUU, in its appeal, maintained that Justice Polycarp “erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when he decided to hear and determine the respondents’ motion for an interlocutory injunction when he knew or ought to have known that the substantive suit was not initiated by due process of law.”
ASUU further told the appellate court that it showed “uncontroverted and irrefutable evidence” that the Federal Government waited for about seven months before approaching the NIC for the order of interlocutory injunction.”
The union insisted that by sections 17 and 18 of the TDA, the NIC could only entertain appeals arising from the decision of the Industrial Arbitration Panel, IAP, concerning issues arising from trade disputes.
ASUU said it was totally “dissatisfied with the decision” of the trial court which it said should not only be stayed from being executed, but also set aside in its entirety.”