The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its ongoing strike pending the determination of the substantive suit.
The order which was given on Friday, October 7, 2022, directed ASUU to obey the ruling of the Industrial Court which directed it to suspend its eight-month old strike.
ASUU had had embarked on an industrial action on February 14 over its unmet demands. Correspondingly, the Federal government took the Union to court after series of meetings with them ended in deadlocks.
Also, the government explained that the basis of the suit was to allow the court of law to determine the legality or otherwise of the strike.
It asked the court to interpret in its entirety the provisions of Section 18 LFN 2004, especially as it applied to the cessation of strike once a trade dispute is apprehended by the Minister of Labour and Employment and conciliation is ongoing.
The government also wanted the court to determine whether ASUU members were entitled to emoluments for the period they have been on strike.
The Industrial Court on September 21, ordered the striking lecturers to call off its strike.
According to Justice Polycarp Hamman who delivered the ruling, the strike should be called off pending the determination of the case between the union and the Federal government.
However, ASUU on September 23, appealed the court’s judgment ordering its members to return to work and also, filed 14 grounds of appeal against it.
The Appeal Court, on Wednesday, October 5, advised both parties to reach an out-of-court settlement on the issue within 24 hours.
But counsel to the federal government James Igwe, and that of ASUU, Femi Falana returned to the court the next day to say they could not amicably resolve the crisis and were ready for the appeal.
Apart from the appeal, ASUU also vowed to sue the government for registering its break-away faction, the Congress of Nigerian Universities Academics (CONUA).