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Strike : ASUU to know fate 30th May

 The national industrial court has fixed May 30 to deliver judgment in the federal government’s suit against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

ASUU had in 2022 embarked on an eight-month strike to protest the non-implementation of its demands.

The federal government, in August 2022, filed a suit to challenge the strike.

The government also sought the court’s decision on the application of the trade dispute act (TDA) as it relates to strikes.

The industrial court asked ASUU to suspend its strike and resume work pending the determination of the suit.

At the resumed sitting on Thursday, Ita Enang, who represented the federal government, informed the court that the case was slated for the adoption of written addresses.

Femi Falana, the counsel to ASUU, told the court that he had filed a notice of appeal before the court of appeal.

Falani told Benedict Kanyip, the presiding judge, that he was contesting the ruling of the court of March 28 which said the labour minister had the power to refer the matter to the national industrial court.

He further prayed for a stay of execution and for the case to be adjourned pending the outcome of the appeal court’s decision.

The ASUU’s counsel said that issues arising on the competence of the appeal were for the court of appeal to determine.

Enang urged the court to proceed with the adoption of written addresses.

The court, in its ruling, stated that time was of the essence in the delivery of justice and ruled that the authorities cited by the defence counsel were not applicable in the extant case.

The court cited rule 47 of NICN 2006 proceeding and stated that an appeal did not translate to a stay of execution.

The judge said the defence had shown a lack of seriousness by not filing its defence and instead opted to file an application for a stay of execution.

According to the judge, the case had been slowed down by multiple applications.

“The application for a stay of execution is rejected,” Kanyip declared.

He directed the claimant’s counsel to proceed to adopt his written address.

The counsel, in response, urged the court to grant all reliefs sought as the suit was neither challenged nor contested by the defence through its failure to file processes of defence.

The court adjourned the matter until May 30 for judgment.

The industrial court also adjourned until June 21 for a sister case where ASUU is the claimant.

ASUU, in this suit, is asking the court to order labour minister to accept its return of the annual financial report.

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