The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, members who are on strike, as well as the Abuja Division of the Court of Appeal, were encouraged Wednesday to look into alternative dispute resolution methods.
In light of this, the appellate court unanimously decided to postpone for another day the hearing of the ASUU appeal that was filed with it.
In order to amicably resolve all the difficult issues, it was decided to give the opposing parties a chance to reevaluate and approach the negotiating table.
After the case was set for hearing, Justice Georgewill Biobele Abraham pleaded with FG’s attorney, Mr. James Igwe, SAN, and counsel for ASUU, Mr. Femi Falana, SAN, to take a patriotic stance and inform their clients of the court’s ruling.
“There is time for everything. Time for war and time for peace. As ministers in the temple of justice, we want to see the two of you as senior lawyers to encourage and explore amicable settlement of this dispute.
“In fact, we expect to return to this court on Thursday (today) with good news that the dispute has been thrashed out and all the appreciation of Nigerians will go to you.
“So, talk to your clients to take the interest of the nation into consideration for the sake of our children. As you leave here, go and sit down and talk and resolve the matter,” Justice Abraham added.
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Igwe, the attorney for the FG, responded by thanking the panel for the advice and promised to continue the conversation with the attorney for ASUU.
Falana, SAN, said his clients were usually up for talking, adding that he had already started something similar.
Falana emphasized, however, that for the issue under contention to be resolved amicably, both parties would need to make concessions.
The panel, which is chaired by Justice Barka Hamma Akawu, announced that it would hear ASUU’s plea to halt the National Industrial Court’s (NIC) judgment ending its current strike today.
Igwe, the attorney for FG, had argued that he had not received a copy of the motion dated September 28.
Recall that on September 21, the NIC ordered ASUU to end its strike of more than seven months in the country’s interest and for the benefit of undergraduates.
In anticipation of the outcome of a lawsuit FG filed to challenge the legitimacy of the striking varsity lecturers’ action, it ordered them to return to the lecture hall.
Even as it requested a stay of the judgment’s execution, ASUU later filed a 14-ground appeal to overturn the decision.
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