Following the Court of Appeal ruling which ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to suspend its 8-month-old strike with immediate effect, the union will meet on Sunday (today).
Recall that on Friday the Court of Appeal ordered the striking lecturers to comply with the earlier ruling of the National Industrial Court which ruled that the union must suspend its protracted industrial action while negotiations continue.
DAILY POST recalls that on February 14 this year, ASUU shut down public universities across the country as they demanded for the full implementation of earlier agreements between it and the Federal Government.
But after fruitless efforts by the government and other stakeholders to reach a truce with the aggrieved lecturers, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government dragged ASUU to the National Industrial Court on September 11.
On September 24, the court ordered the union to return to class while negotiations with the federal government continue.
But upset by the ruling, ASUU went to the Court of Appeal to appeal against the ruling.
However, the Court of Appeal, while delivering its verdict on Friday, ruled that the union must obey the ruling of the lower court and call off the strike immediately pending the decision of the real case.
ASUU President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, told DAILY POST on Friday while reacting to the ruling that the union would review the Court of Appeal order before deciding on the next course of action.
He said: “We have not received the ruling, when we get it we will review it with our lawyer and then we can take the next step.”
The Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, while reacting to the development on Friday, said labor controllers across the states of the federation are monitoring schools to ensure compliance with the Court of Appeal ruling.
I have asked labor controllers in the states and the zones to go to the schools and see if the vice chancellors have opened the gates.
“If they don’t, they will be charged for contempt,” he said while appearing on a Channels Television show.
Meanwhile, a member of the union who pleaded anonymity told DAILY POST on Saturday that the National Executive Council of ASUU will meet today to review the Court of Appeal ruling.
He said: “The Court of Appeal judgment will be critically reviewed on Sunday and it is after that we will know the fate of Nigerian students who were forced to stay at home for almost eight months due to the negligence of the Federal Government.
Ngige and the Buhari government did not understand that even if they force the union to resume work, they cannot force the lecturers to teach the Nigerian students whose future is at risk”.
But when contacted for confirmation, the ASUU president simply said: “we are not advertising our meeting, it is private”.