In the lawsuit against the ASUU which was filed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Ngige, It was gathered that the court has adjourn the hearing till Friday, 16th Sept, 2022.
The Judge who is in charge, Justice Polycarp Hamman of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja disclosed these to the public after the first seating.
The Federal Government on Monday advocated that the National Industrial Court to order ASUU to call off its seven months strike.
Cojoined as a claimant in the matter is the Minister of Education, Adamu, with the President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, as sole defendant.
When the matter slated for mention came up, human rights activist, Ebunolu Adegoruwa, SAN, informed the court that he was representing the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) and that he had filed a lawsuit on the same subject matter before the same court.
He also stated that in the lawsuit NICN/ABJ/269/2022, SERAP was the claimant with the Federal Government as the defendant.
He, therefore, moved ahead to apply that the present lawsuit be consolidated and SERAP be joined in the lawsuit as a defendant, instead of multiple lawsuits on the same matter before the same court.
Counsel to the claimant, Mr T.A Gazali, SAN, in response, said the application was hasty and further said that there was no need for SERAP to plead to be joined in a lawsuit, orally, in a matter that did not have its name on the cause list.
Mr Femi Falana, SAN, counsel to ASUU, in his account, informed the court that both counsel had informed him on Monday that they were both filing some papers.
Falana, in addition, urged the court to drop out the matter to enable both counsel to file their papers and then reappear at a later date after which he would have responded to the claimant’s process.
Adegoruwa replied that the defendant had not denied the reality of the lawsuit SERAP filed and served on them.
Gazali, on his part, also informed the court that his process would be filed Monday, and Falana said he would need three days to reply to the process.
The judge, in his decree, adjourned the matter until Friday, for further mention.
He also addressed that the claimant should file, serve his process, and the defendant to also file and serve his response before the adjourned date.
Hamman, in addition, ruled that SERAP’s application to be joined in the lawsuit was premature.
The lawsuit filed by the claimant is also seeking the court to give the matter a fast-tracked hearing in order to bring the dispute to an end.
The claimant, also, in the instrument of referral, is imploring the court to: “Inquire into the legality or otherwise of the on-going prolonged strike by ASUU leadership and members which had sustained even after apprehension by the Minister of Labour and Employment.
“Interpret in its entirety the provisions of Section 18, LFN 2004 especially as it applies to termination of strike once a trade dispute is apprehended by the Minister of Labour and Employment and conciliation is on-going.