Court orders ASUU to resume work with immediate effect

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By Muhammadu Sabiu

The Academic Staff Union of Universities was on Friday told to end its strike by the Court of Appeal in Abuja.

After rejecting the union’s request for a stay of execution of a previous National Industrial Court decision ordering university teachers to resume work, the court issued the order.

The union was given permission to challenge the industrial court’s decision, but a three-member panel of the Court of Appeal chaired by Hamma Barka ruled that it must first start work in order to do so.

It stated that should ASUU fail to reopen the universities, the union’s authorization to challenge the National Industrial Court’s interlocutory order would be automatically annulled.

“I am inclined to grant the application to appeal the decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria. But the order of the lower court shall be immediately obeyed,” the court noted in its unanimous ruling.

On September 21, the National Industrial Court ordered ASUU to end the strike.

The federal government’s request on notice was granted by the court, ordering the lecturers back into the classroom.

In his decision on the interlocutory injunction, the trial judge Polycarp Hamman prohibited ASUU from carrying out the industrial action until the outcome of the lawsuit brought by the FG against ASUU. 

Unhappy with the decision, the union went to the appeals court to challenge it.

Additionally, a request for a stay of the Industrial Court’s judgment was made.

The Court of Appeal rejected ASUU’s request for a stay of the lower court’s judgment and, as a result, ordered the lecturers on strike to immediately end their eight-month walkout.

It, however, stated that ASUU had the right to challenge the industrial court’s ruling.

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