Court fixes March 28 to rule on FG’s suit against ASUU over eight-month strike

Court fixes March 28 to rule on FG’s suit against ASUU over eight-month strike
February 21
23:31 2023

The national industrial court of Nigeria (NICN) has fixed March 28 to rule on the federal government’s suit against the recent strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

In 2022, ASUU embarked on a strike to protest non-implementation of its demands by the federal government — the strike eventually lasted for eight months.

In August, the federal government filed a suit over the strike, and also sought the court’s decision on the interpretation and application of the Trade Dispute Act (TDA) as it relates to industrial actions.

The court later directed ASUU to suspend the strike and resume work pending the determination of the suit.


NAN reports that when the case came up for hearing of ASUU’s preliminary objection on Tuesday, Femi Falana, the defence counsel, informed the court that his response could not be filed on Monday at the court’s registry due to issue with the internet.

Falana, therefore, sought for the leave of court for a short adjournment.

In his response, Benedict Kanyip, the presiding judge, granted Falana’s request and stepped down the matter until 1pm to enable him properly file his process and serve the claimants’ counsel.


But when the court resumed, Falana applied for his motion dated and filed September 19, 2022, wherein he sought for the leave of court for extension, and for his reply on point of law which was filed on Tuesday to be deemed as properly filed.

He also told the court that his preliminary objection was premised on the jurisdiction of the court.

Citing order 3, rule 6 of the TDA, Falana argued that Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment, did not follow due process before issuing the referral to the court.

He added that reconciliation steps were not duly followed and that the minister could only approach the court if parties of a trade union could not resolve their differences.


Reacting, James Igwe, counsel to the federal government, contended that Falana’s reply which he received five minutes before the court’s preceeding was on reply of facts and not on law.

He also argued that all the authorities cited by the defence counsel did not have any relevance to his application.

Igwe added that the national industrial court has the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

He also said the minister did not act out of the ordinary as order 3 rule 6 of the TDA conferred on him the power to refer the matter to NICN.


Igwe then called on the court to strike out the defence counsel’s objection.

In his ruling, Kanyip adjourned the matter till March 28 for ruling.



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