The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been on strike for seven months. The Federal Government asked the National Industrial Court to order ASUU to end its strike, and the court set September 19 as the date for its decision.
The subject, which was initially discussed on Monday, was continued until Friday before Justice Polycarp Hamman.
When the matter came up, Mr. J.U.K. Igwe SAN informed the court that the claimant had filed two procedures in accordance with its Monday instruction that it should do so no later than Tuesday.
The first was a motion on notice for an interlocutory injunction, which was filed on Monday, he continued.
Igwe added that the claimant had submitted an affidavit of facts on the same day in support of the referral that had been forwarded by the Minister of Labour and Employment.
Additionally, he asserted that certain queries were made with a complete written response.
Additionally, he claimed that the defendant had received proof of service from the court.
However, the attorney claimed that as of the time the court was in session, he had not heard back from ASUU.
Igwe then urged the court to act quickly on the motions, arguing that they are urgent and of national importance because millions of pupils have been at home since February 14.
In response, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, counsel for ASUU acknowledged receiving the claimant’s process and announced that they had already begun filing their reply in the court registry.
Falana further argued that the Minister of Labor and Employment lacked the authority to request in his referral that the court compel the defendant to return to work.
He also let the court know that ASUU will meet with relevant parties in the House of Representatives on September 20 to ensure a resolution.
Ahead of time, Mr. Ebuolu Adegoruwa SAN, the attorney for Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), brought up the subject of joining and consolidating the lawsuit, invoking section 36 of the 1999 constitution to ensure a fair hearing.
Before considering any further applications in the litigation, he encouraged the court to take his motion to that effect, invoking the mentioned clause in SERAP’s favor to be included in the suit as a defendant.
According to Adegoruwa, remedy 3 of their plea is a stay of further action while the court decides whether or not to include them as a party in the lawsuit.
He also said that the claimant had received service of the proceedings on Thursday.
He then moved to replace the process served on Thursday with one that was filed earlier and dated Monday.
Igwe disagreed with Adegoruwa’s application in response, claiming that he had received the one that had been filed on Monday and served on them by Thursday at 5 o’clock.
Additionally, he claimed that Adegoruwa was withdrawing the same application.
He further stated that, contrary to Adegoruwa’s claims, he had not received any paperwork dated Thursday.
Adegoruwa responded by saying that there was evidence that the application had been served on the Federation’s Attorney-General on Thursday.
Falana stated that he was in agreement with Adegoruwa’s request to be included as a party in the lawsuit and to have the case combined with the one brought by SERAP as a claimant.
After hearing the arguments of the attorneys, the court decided that the application was not ready to be heard because it had been delivered to the attorney general’s office on Thursday.
The application for an interlocutory injunction will be heard first on September 19 at 11 a.m., the court further announced.
As a result, the judge postponed the case’s hearing until September 19.
Recall that the ongoing ASUU strike was the reason the Federal Government had referred the case to the court by the Minister of Labor and Employment on their behalf.