The National Industrial Court has ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to call off the ongoing nationwide strike.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14, 2022 as talks between the Federal Government and lecturers of public universities have been in deadlock.
Consequently, the federal government went to court to challenge the strike.
The counsel had submitted that section 18(1)E of the Trade Disputes Act provides that employees cannot be on strike when a matter is before the industrial court.
Delivering a ruling on the interlocutory injunction filed by the Federal government , Justice Polycarp Hamman restrained ASUU from continuing with the industrial action pending the determination of the suit.
Igwe said the suit was filed in national interest, adding that the strike will result in irreparable damage to Nigerian students and to the country.
In his opposition, Femi Falana, counsel to ASUU, said asking the union to resume work is “wrong and scandalous.”
He said the TDA mandates workers not to embark on strike once an issue has been referred to the industrial court.
“The balance of convenience tilts in favour of the applicant,” he held.
“I hold that this application is meritorious and this application is granted.”
This order comes a few hours after the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) threatened not to allow any political campaign hold across the country till students of public universities return to classrooms.
Chairman, NANS National Taskforce, Ojo Olumide, announced this at a press conference in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, on Wednesday.
His announcement comes a week to September 28, the official date for candidates to kick-off campaign as announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
“Our blocking of access to public roads and ports is just a warning. If the government fails to conclude all the negotiation and agreement with ASUU within the frame of two weeks, they will witness more protests and rallies all over the country, they will also witness the annoyance, anger and frustration of Nigerians Students who have been at home for the past seven months.
“As we promise them that we will not allow any political campaign to hold across the country until we are back to class. This government has pushed so many Nigerians students into depression. We say enough is enough; we can no longer bear the brunt from this avoidable crisis in our nation public ivory towers again,” he said.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike since February 14, 2022 as talks between the Federal Government and lecturers of public universities have not yielded a comprise upon which students can return to class.
Ifunanya Ikueze is an Engineer, Safety Professional, Writer, Investor, Entrepreneur and Educator.