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FG, ASUU set to meet in court

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU will today be meeting with the federal government in Court.

The Federal Government had dragged the union before the National Industrial Court over its ongoing strike which started on February 14, 2022.

Dr. Chris Piwuna, the Vice President of ASUU confirmed that the union would be in court for the hearing.

“We will be in court on Monday morning. Earlier, we met with the Minister of Education but we are ready for anything. That is the nature of the struggle”, he said.

It is widely reported that members of the Union who are Senior Advocates of Nigeria and Professors of Law were among those that would be defending it.

ASUU is demanding, among others, the release of the revitalization fund for universities, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, deployment of the University Transparency Accountability System, UTAS for the payment of salaries and allowances of lecturers, and release of the white paper report of the visitation panels to universities and the renegotiation of the ASUU-FGN 2009 agreement.

The Federal Government decided to take this route after other efforts to get the lecturers back to the classroom failed.

On September 6, 2022, a 14-member committee was constituted to further look into the issue of withheld salaries of the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) as a result of the work, no-pay policy of the Government.

The committee chaired by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, was also to review other issues including the proposed salary increment for university workers.

There were other efforts by private individuals and groups aimed at ending the impasses that proved abortive.

Other attempts

In June 2022, ASUU rejected a crowdfunding campaign organized by Human Rights Activist, Ahmed Isa also known as ‘’the Ordinary President’’.

Similarly, the Union in August rejected the proposal by the National Parent-Teacher Association of Nigeria to pay a minimum of N10,000 per parent for every academic section in an effort to end the lingering industrial action.

The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project, SERAP, and five university students filed a lawsuit against President, Muhammadu Buhari over the prolonged strike.

They are asking the court to “declare unlawful the refusal by the Federal Government to meet ASUU’s demands, which has occasioned the prolonged strike action and violated the students’ right to quality education.”

Joined in the suit as Defendants are the Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Chris Ngige, and Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, SAN.

In the suit filed at the National Industrial Court, Abuja, SERAP and the students are seeking: “an order directing President Buhari and Mr Ngige to immediately implement all the agreements with ASUU in order to end the strike action and violation of the student’s right to quality education.”

Writing by Annabel Nwachukwu; Editing by Tina Oyinsan