On Wednesday the National Industrial Court of Nigeria ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities to call off its ongoing nationwide strike.
Recall that ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home the demands for improved funding for universities, and a review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues.
Several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government had ended in a deadlock.
Igwe had said that based on trade union laws the court had powers to call off the ASUU strike while negotiations between the union and FG continues.
He contended that the federal government’s refusal to fulfill its agreement with ASUU constitutes damage to the lecturers, their welfare, and the well-being of educational institutions.
Falana urged the court to dismiss the application because it is based on hearsay and the federal government representative is not a member of the university community.
He said it was obvious that the legal adviser of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment has access to legal issues relating to the trade dispute.
However, the judge said in the interest of justice and fairness to all, he would grant the federal government’s request citing damage and conduct of parties.
He agreed that the FG who is the owner of federal universities stands to lose more if the application is not granted.
“Students have been out of school for 7 months in Nigeria where age is a factor in employment,” he said.
The judge added that the National Youth Service Corps even bars graduates aged 30 from going for youth service.
“I, therefore, hold that the balance of convenience tilts in favor of granting the application,” the judge said.
The judge said that the prolonged strike inflicts irreparable damage on Nigerian students and they have been at home since February 14, 2022.
Subsequently, the court suspended the ASUU strike citing its discretionary powers over trade union disputes.