ASUU to Appeal Court Order, Students Reject Judgement

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CEM REPORT, EDUCATION | Reacting to the judgement of the court directing it to suspend its strike and resume academic activities, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has said it will appeal the order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).

The union said “while the judge has the right to give his judgment, the union has the right to appeal.”

The union’s President, Emmanuel Osodeke, while urging members to remain calm added that the industrial court was not the final court.

He noted that there were other higher levels of courts to appeal to if dissatisfied with a judgement.

He said that the country may suffer for what the Federal Government is doing as he believes that thousands of lecturers will leave the country for greener pastures once the strike is called off because of the treatment being meted out to them.

A statement by the Chairman of Lagos Zone, Adelaja Odukoya, further expressed the union’s dissatisfaction with the judgement.

While he urged members and Nigerians to remain united, he suggested that the order would be vacated.

The statement reads in part: “Our President, Emmanuel Osodeke, has urged members, students and stakeholders to remain calm as there is no cause for alarm on the back-to-work order by NICN.

“Our lawyer is filing an appeal and stay of execution of the judgment. Members should remain resolute and strong. A people united can never be defeated. Solidarity without compromise.”

Meanwhile, the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) has rejected the order.

The body termed the order a ‘black market’ judgment stating that the judgment betrayed equity because Government should not have dragged ASUU before the industrial court in the first place.

According to NANS National Public Relations Officer, Giwa Temitope,  the only solution to the lingering strike is for government to meet the demands of the union, which it willingly entered into with ASUU.

“As an association, NANS is disturbed to read the news of the judgment because we believe that it is not right. Ordinarily, the Federal Government should not have dragged ASUU to court. We want to state categorically that the court cannot force ASUU back to the classroom.

“And, as it stands today, we maintain that the court has not resolved the problem and we reject the ruling in its entirety. The court could have directed the FG to pay rather than directing lecturers to go back to classrooms.”

Similarly, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) described the court verdict as unfair and shameful.

The National Coordinator of the body, Hassan Soweto, stated that the judgement only confirmed his belief that “the judiciary is simply an arm of the apparatus of the capitalist state, just as the police and the army.”

He called on the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) to declare a 48-hour nationwide warning strike in reaction to the court order.

“At this stage, all we can say is that our solidarity with ASUU on its resolve to fight for adequate funding of public universities remains unshaken despite the court order,” Guardian reports.

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