CEM REPORT, EDUCATION | The Court of Appeal will rule on the application filed by the Academic Staff Union of University (ASUU) today against an order of the National Industrial Court (NIC) directing its members to resume work.
At the resumed hearing yesterday, ASUU’s counsel Femi Falana, told the court that it was the right of his client to file an appeal against the interlocutory injunction because it was dissatisfied with the NIC’s judgement.
Falana citing a plethora of authorities to support his claim said that ASUU must first seek and obtain leave of the Court of Appeal before filing a notice of appeal to ensure the validity of the appeal, NAN reports.
He prayed the three-member panel of justices of the appellate court led by Hamma Barka to reject the government’s opposition to the application noting that it would amount to a dangerous decision if the court refused the application as it would mean denying his client the right of appeal.
Falana, who had also filed an application seeking a stay of execution of the ruling of the lower court, applied to withdraw the application.
However, counsel to the federal government, James Igwe, opposed ASUU’s application and asked the court to dismiss both applications as incompetent.
He argued that the court had no jurisdiction to entertain incompetent applications.
Igwe drew the attention of the court to the fact that the union had refused to obey the order of the Industrial Court which was made on September 21.
He further objected to the application to withdraw the stay of execution order on the ground that both parties had already joined issues.
He submitted that the union, having been in contempt of court, could not come before the Court of Appeal to ask for a favour as its hands were already dirty.
“ASUU is in contempt of court. It is illegal for ASUU to remain on strike in the face of the industrial court order.
“Section 18(1) of the Trade Dispute Act, does not allow a party in contempt to come before the Court of Appeal with the type of ASUU’s application,’’ Igwe submitted.”
Igwe prayed the court to dismiss ASUU’s request for leave to appeal against the at previous hearing Industrial Court’s order since it had refused to obey it ab initio.
He also argued that proper parties to the matter were not before the court because those in the matter at the industrial court were not the same parties before the Court of Appeal.
After taking all arguments, Justice Barka in agreement with the other judges fixed Friday 6th October 2022 to deliver judgment.
CEM had earlier reported that at previous hearing Justice Biobele Georgewill, implored the federal government and ASUU to explore an out-of-court settlement.
He asked both parties to be patriotic and find a solution that will make Nigerians happy.