…But out of court settlement possible
Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, says the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) cannot be accused of engaging in contempt of court on the recent verdict of the national industrial court.
Indeed, the ASUU lawyer, who said the union was awaiting the appeal court to determine the next line of action on the current strike by the university lecturers, declared that out of court settlement was also possible.
The industrial court on September 21 ordered ASUU to call off its protracted nationwide strike, granting the Federal Government’s application for an interlocutory injunction.
The union has filed an appeal seeking a stay of execution of the judgment.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home the demand for improved funding for universities, review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues.
Minister of Labour and Productivity, Chris Ngige, at the weekend warned ASUU against the consequences of contempt of court.
Reacting to Ngige’s comments, Falana, counsel to ASUU, in a statement on Monday, said the application for the leave of the court of appeal against the injunction is the same as an appeal under the rules of the court.
He said ASUU could not be accused of contempt of court because the union is seeking to appeal and stay the execution of the judgment.
“The minister is unaware that the national industrial court lacks the jurisdictional competence to intervene in the resolution of a trade dispute that has not been determined by the industrial arbitration panel,” Falana said.
“However, contrary to the claim of the minister that the ASUU has not filed an appeal, the application for the leave of the court of appeal to appeal against the interlocutory order of injunction is deemed to be an appeal under the rules of the court of appeal.
“The application is equally accompanied by a motion for stay of execution of the said order. To that extent, the members of the ASUU cannot be accused of engaging in contempt of the order of the national industrial court in so far as they are seeking to appeal and stay the execution of the said order.
“Having exercised their constitutional right of appeal and prayed the court of appeal to stay the execution of the interlocutory order of the national industrial court pending the determination of the appeal, the members of ASUU cannot be said to have engaged in any form of contempt.
“However, instead of chasing the shadow by threatening the ASUU with contempt of court and proscription, the Federal Government should adopt urgent measures to end the strike that has paralysed academic activities in public universities for the past seven months.
“In particular, the Federal Government should take advantage of the intervention of the leadership of the House of Representatives to resolve all outstanding issues and end the strike as soon as possible.”
UNN ASUU directs members to withhold results over unpaid salaries
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) chapter, has directed its members to withhold examination results of students in protest over eight months unpaid salaries by Federal Government.
BREAKING: ASUU members receive full salary for November, arrears withheld
Lecturers under the aegis of the Academic Staff Union of Universities have received full salaries for the month of November 2022.
A senior member of the union at the Bayero University Kano revealed this in a chat with journalists in Abuja.
He said, “Some of our members have started receiving salaries and I can confirm to you that we received our full salaries for the month of November. However, the arrears are still withheld.”
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It was learnt that the eight-month arrears remained withheld by the Federal Government.
The FG had refused to pay the striking lecturers for the eight months which the union embarked on strike.
The lecturers in October 2022 received a half pay, according to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
FEC okays mother tongue for teaching in primary schools
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the use of mother tongue as a compulsory medium of instruction in primary schools in the country.
Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the week’s council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said the mother tongue would be used exclusively for the first six years of education and combined with the English language from Junior Secondary School.
Adamu said though the policy had officially taken effect, it could only be fully implemented when government develops instructional materials and qualified teachers are available.
He said the mother tongue to be used in each school would be the dominant language spoken by the community where it is located.
Adamu said the government was determined to preserve the cultures of the people and their peculiar idiosyncrasies.
He lamented that so much had been lost due to the extinction of some local languages.
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