The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has appealed the ruling of an Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja directing it to immediately suspend the ongoing industrial action.
Justice Polycarp Hamman on Wednesday, September 21 dismissed ASUU’s preliminary objection challenging the referral by the federal government and held that the strike was a breach of Section 18(1)(e)(2) of the Trade Disputes Act, which prohibits their action.
But in the 14-grounds notice of appeal by its counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), ASUU is contending that the trial judge erred in law when it decided to hear and determine the motion for an interlocutory injunction when he “ought to have known that the substantive suit filed by the claimant was not initiated by due process.”
ASUU argues that the court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter brought by a federal government referral on September 8 without the mandatory step of going through the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) as provided under the Part 1 Trade Disputes Act.
ASUU further contends that the trial judge miscarried himself in law and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of justice he held that “since the court is neither considering the notice of preliminary objection nor the substantive suit, it will be premature to delve into those arguments at this stage of hearing the application for interlocutory injunction.”
The federal government had on February 14, 2022, embarked on the strike to demand the re-negotiation of the 2009 FG-ASUU agreement, after the striking lecturers insisted on its implementation.
Other demands of ASUU are the adoption of UTAS as a replacement for IPPIS as a payment platform; payment of salary arrears for academic staff; payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA); revitalisation funds for the universities; release of White Paper on Visitation Panels that concluded their assignment last year; non-proliferation of state universities; reconstitution of government renegotiation team for the 2009 agreement which was renegotiated in 2013/2014 and due for renegotiation by 2018/2019.