The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), Abuja Division, has fixed deliver its ruling on the application filed by the Federal Government, seeking to restrain the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) from continuing its indefinite strike, pending the determination of the substantive suit and every other application on the matter.
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At the court session on Monday, James Igwe, argued his application seeking an order of the court restraining ASUU from further continuing with the ongoing nationwide strike.
He said section 18(1)E of the Trade Disputes Act provides that employees cannot be on strike when a matter is before the industrial court.
Falana, however, opposed the application.
He argued that a referral issued by Chris Ngige, minister of labour, seeking an order of the court asking ASUU to return to work amounts to ordering the court — a power he said the minister lacks
He averred that the claimants did not follow due process in part 1 of the Trade Dispute Act 2004, which stipulates that only an individual has the right to approach the court, as a trade union will first need to go to the Industrial Abitration Panel (IAP), before coming to the court.
He said the union can only approach the national industrial court to appeal the decision of IAP.
He also said the referral asking for an accelerated hearing is not necessary as there is no urgency since the strike had lasted for seven months.
After listening to parties in the suit, Polycarp Hamman, the presiding judge, adjourned the matter for ruling.