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Court adjourns the case against striking university instructors brought by the Nigerian government

Court adjourns the case against striking university instructors brought by the Nigerian government

On Monday, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASU) ongoing strike was challenged in court by the federal government. The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) postponed the hearing (ASUU). 

P.I. Hamman, the judge, postponed the case to September 16 so that it could be discussed further. The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) requested to join the case as an interested party at the hearing on Monday. 

Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, the attorney for SERAP, said that his client had filed a comparable lawsuit, requesting that the court order the federal government to uphold its 2009 deal with the striking varsity lecturers. 

He predicated SERAP’s motion for a joinder on the requirement to avoid conflicting resolutions to the labor dispute. However, Tijjani Gazali, a SAN who represents the federal government, objected to Mr. Adegboruwa’s request to combine the lawsuits. 

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As the case was scheduled for mention on Monday, he informed the judge that SERAP’s application was “premature.” Femi Falana, another SAN, who represents ASUU, responded to Messrs. Adegboruwa and Gazali’s arguments by saying he was aware of the attorneys’ efforts to file court papers in the lawsuit on Monday. The judge agreed with the federal government that the case was not ready for consolidation when he rejected the SERAP’s joinder application. 

Mr. Hamman stated that the case would be assigned to another court for final determination and that he was simply serving as a vacation judge. The judge then set a deadline of Friday, September 16 for the parties to file and exchange written arguments in the case.

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