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ASUU waiting for appeal court decision – Falana

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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.”

Education

UNN ASUU directs members to withhold results over unpaid salaries

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University of Nigeria, Nsukka

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.

The university lecturers’ union also directed its members to boycott, forthwith, departmental, faculty and Senate council meetings, aimed at approving results of students until the salary issue is addressed.

The lecturers had carried placards, and marched round the school premises to protest non-payment of their salaries. Some of the placards read: “We say no to intimidation by government,” “Kill education, kill the nation,” “No pay, no results,” “Lecturers are not casual workers,” among others.

Speaking to newsmen after their protest at the school premises, the chapter Chairman, Dr. Christian Opata, insisted that members are not happy with the half salary payment to them when the strike action was called off last month. He said: “We will continue to teach, but will not release results of exams or allow school Senate to seat and approve any result.

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“ASUU is saying no to government policy of ‘no work, no pay;’ but if government insists on the policy, ASUU will not handle any academic activity that falls within that eight months period.

“ASUU wants government to honour its agreement with the union since 2009, and stop further attempt that will keep students away from school.”
Opata described, as unfortunate, the attempt by government to treat lecturers as labourers by using the so-called ‘pro-rata’ format to pay them their October salary.

“This is the first time in history of the country when university academic staff are paid as casual workers; an indication that the current administration has no regard for education,” he said.

He threatened that ASUU is determined to embark on what will be known in Nigeria’s history as “mother of all strikes” should government fail to do the needful.

“If government thinks that implementing its policy of ‘no work, no pay’ and withholding our salary will prevent us from embarking on strike again, then it is a big joke. If government fails to do the needful soon, ASUU will return to indefinite strike action in public universities,” he added.

Guardian

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Education

BREAKING: ASUU members receive full salary for November, arrears withheld

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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.

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Education

FEC okays mother tongue for teaching in primary schools

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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.

Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu

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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