The Court of Appeal in Abuja will on Tuesday (today) hear the appeal of the Academic Staff Union of Universities against the ruling by the National Industrial Court, The PUNCH has learnt.
This is as negotiations and talks have continued between the House of Representatives led by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila and the union.
A source familiar with the matter made this known in a chat with our correspondent on Sunday.
“The court will hear the appeal on Tuesday,” the source said in a text message sent to our correspondent.
Our correspondent could not immediately get a response to inquiries sent to the counsel for ASUU, Femi Falana, as he had yet to reply to texts sent to his telephone line.
ASUU had on September 23, 2022, filed 14 grounds for appeal against the ruling of Justice Hamman Polycarp of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, which ordered that the striking lecturers go back to work pending the determination of a suit the Federal Government filed to query the legality of their strike.
The interim injunction directing ASUU members to resume work followed an application the Federal Government filed through its lawyer, Mr James Igwe.
Justice Polycarp held that the order was both in the national interest and for the sake of undergraduates in the country that had been at home since February 14. He held that the strike action was detrimental to public university students that couldn’t afford to attend private tertiary institutions.
However, ASUU, in its appeal, maintained that Justice Polycarp “erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when he decided to hear and determine the respondents’ motion for an interlocutory injunction when he knew or ought to have known that the substantive suit was not initiated by due process of law.”
ASUU further told the appellate court that it showed “uncontroverted and irrefutable evidence” that the Federal Government waited for about seven months before approaching the NIC for the order of interlocutory injunction.”
The union insisted that by sections 17 and 18 of the TDA, the NIC could only entertain appeals arising from the decision of the Industrial Arbitration Panel, IAP, concerning issues arising from trade disputes.
ASUU said it was totally “dissatisfied with the decision” of the trial court which it said should not only be stayed from being executed, but also set aside in its entirety.”