Strike: Court dismisses NANS’ suit against ASUU, FG

The national industrial court in Abuja has struck out a suit by the National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) against the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government.

Polycarp Hamman, the presiding judge, struck out the suit following an application for withdrawal.

While ASUU was the first defendant and the attorney-general of the federation was the third defendant, the minister of education was joined as the second defendant in the suit filed by Umar Lawal, NANS president.

Lawal had asked the court for “a declaration that the 1st and 2nd defendants have a superior bounden duty to ensure Nigerian students have unrestrained access to higher academic learning in the Nigerian Universities System over and above their respective economic interest howsoever called”.

He also asked the court to issue an order calling off the strike.

At the court session on Tuesday, Lawal said he had filed a motion to discontinue the suit.

He premised his decision on the grounds of a leadership conflict within the student association.

Marshal Abubakar, counsel to ASUU, did not object to the application for discontinuance of the suit — and consequently, the judge struck out the matter.

Two NANS presidential candidates had claimed victory at a recent election of the students’ body. Lawal who is a student of Bayero University, Kano, insisted that he won the election, but the NANs convention planning committee declared Usman Barambu as the president-elect.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home the demand for improved funding for universities, and a review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues.

Several meetings between ASUU and the federal government have ended in deadlock.

Consequently, the federal government went to the national industrial court to challenge the strike.

Delivering a ruling on September 21, the judge granted the federal government’s application for an interlocutory injunction to restrain ASUU from continuing the strike.

The judge also ordered members of the union to resume work pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.

ASUU has since gone before the court of appeal to challenge the industrial court’s ruling

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