September 21, (THEWILL) – The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) has ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to suspend its seven months old strike.
THEWILL earlier reported that the Federal Government had asked the court to order ASUU to suspend its strike, while it engages the union to address the dispute.
The federal government’s counsel, James Igwe, had applied for an interlocutory injunction to restrain the Varsity lecturers from continuing with the strike, pending the determination of the referral by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
In his ruling in Abuja on Wednesday, Justice Polycarp Hamman, granted the government’s application.
He also dismissed the argument of Femi Falana, counsel to ASUU, that the interlocutory injunction should be dismissed and the court should instead grant an accelerated hearing for the referral earlier filed by Ngige.
Lecturers of the Federal Government owned universities had embarked on strike since February 14, 2022, to demand the release of revitalisation funds for universities; deployment of the University Transparency Accountability System (UTAS) for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers; release of earned allowances; the release of the white paper report of the visitation panels to universities and other issues involving the ASUU-FGN 2009 agreement.
The Federal Government had set up a negotiation team to look into the Union’s demand.
However, amid several failed negotiations, the Government had approached the court to order ASUU to suspend its strike while it engaged the union to address the dispute.