Court dismisses NANS' lawsuit against ASUU and FG

The National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, filed a lawsuit to force the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and the Federal Government to end the ongoing strike action. On Tuesday, the National Industrial Court, NIC, sitting in Abuja, dismissed the lawsuit.

Justice Polycarp Hamman halted further proceedings in the case after NANS factional President Umar Faruk Lawal withdrew it.

Lawal had stated to the court that he brought the lawsuit, with the filing number NICN/ABJ/273/2022, on his own behalf and on behalf of NANS.

Read Also: ASUU Strike: Respect Court Ruling First – FG Urges Lecturers

The Minister of Education and the Attorney-General of the Federation were identified as the second and third respondents, respectively, in addition to ASUU, which was cited as the first respondent.

Lawal informed the court that he had submitted a motion for discontinuance before the subject was discussed on Tuesday.

He based his decision to drop the lawsuit on the student body’s challenge, which questioned his authority and denied that he is the President of NANS as he had testified.

Lawal’s request to have the lawsuit withdrawn was accepted by Marshal Abubakar, counsel for ASUU, notwithstanding the fact that the other two respondents were not represented.

As a result, Justice Hamman dismissed the case.

You may remember that two NANS presidential candidates declared victory in a recent election held by the student body.

Usman Barambu was named the association’s new president by the NANs Convention Planning Committee, despite Lawal, who chairs the department of library and information science at Bayero University in Kano, claiming to have won the election.

ASUU later petitioned the Court of Appeal in Abuja to overturn the NIC ruling ordering it to end its strike that had been in effect for more than seven months.
The union also requested a stay of the judgment’s execution in a 14-ground appeal.

Until the outcome of a lawsuit the Federal Government filed to challenge the legitimacy of their strike action, the NIC had in its ruling from September 21 ordered the striking varsity professors to return to the classroom.

Following an application made by the FG through its attorney, Mr. James Igwe, the temporary injunction ordering ASUU members to get back to work was granted.

Justice Hamman determined that the order was both in the best interests of the nation and of the undergraduates who have been staying at home since February 14th.

According to him, public university students who cannot afford to attend private postsecondary schools suffered as a result of the strike action.

“The scales of convenience are tipped in the applicant’s favour.

Justice Hamman declared, “I hold that this application is meritorious and that application is granted.”

Though Justice Hamman “erred in law and occasioned a miscarriage of justice when he decided to hear and determine the Respondents’ motion for interlocutory injunction when he knew or ought to have known that the substantive suit was not initiated by due process of law,” ASUU insisted this in its appeal.

It claimed that FG did not follow the necessary stages and procedure outlined in Part 1 of the Trade Dispute Act, or TDA.

Furthermore, ASUU claimed that the trial judge erred by improperly assuming jurisdiction over the case, noting that the relief given as an interlocutory order was the same as what FG sought in its main lawsuit.

 

Africa Today News, New York

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