As the lawsuit brought by the Federal Government before the National Industrial Court is heard on Monday, members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)—including Senior Advocates of Nigeria and Professors of Law—will defend the union (today).
The union was brought before the NIC by the federal government due to an ongoing strike that began on February 14, 2022.
The union is calling for, among other things, the release of the university revitalization fund, the release of earned allowances for lecturers, the implementation of the university transparency and accountability system for the payment of lecturers’ salaries and allowances, the release of the white paper report of the university visitation panels, and renegotiation of the ASUU-FGN 2009 agreement.
The government decided to bring the union before the industrial court after attempts to end the strike were unsuccessful.
The union will use its members who are senior attorneys, according to a member of the union’s National Executive Council who spoke to The PUNCH on Sunday but asked that his name not be published since he was not authorized to do so.
“The president is meant to address this, but we will be in court on Monday (today); we have members who are Senior Advocates and Professors of Law. They will be defending the union pro-bono,” the source said.
Dr. Chris Piwuna, national vice-president of the union, who also spoke with our correspondent, affirmed that participants will attend the hearing in court.
“We will be in court tomorrow (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.
In a separate interview, the chairman, ASUU of the Federal University of Minna, Dr Gbolahan Bolarin, said, “We are in receipt of the letter and we will be in court tomorrow (Monday). We are, however, shocked at the decision of the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige.”