The Court of Appeal will on Friday, October 7, deliver ruling in an application by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, seeking permission to appeal against the order of the National Industrial Court.
The NICN had on September 21, granted interlocutory order in favour of the federal government, ordering the university lecturers to resume work pending the resolution of their dispute with the government.
But dissatisfied with the court order, ASUU, through its counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), filed an application at the Court of Appeal (Abuja Division), seeking the leave of court to file an appeal against the industrial court order.
Femi Falana claimed that it was the right of ASUU to file an appeal against the interlocutory injunction because it was against them.
He also mentioned several authorities to the effect that ASUU must first seek and obtain leave of the court of appeal before filing notice of appeal so as to ensure the appeal validity.
Earlier, he had requested that the stay of execution of the ruling of the industrial court, contained in the application, be dismissed.
However in opposing ASUU’s application, the federal government had asked the court to dismiss the entire application on grounds of incompetence and jurisdiction.
The lawyer to the Federal Government, James Igwe (SAN), drew the attention of the court to the fact that the industrial court order made since September 21, had not been obeyed by the lecturers till date.
Specifically, he cited Order 6 Rule 4 of the Court of Appeal, adding that ASUU’s application, was in breach of the order, thereby making it incompetent and should not be granted.
ASUU is in contempt of court, it is illegal for ASUU to remain on strike in the face of the industrial court order. Section 18(1) of the Trade Dispute Act, does not allow a party in contempt to come before Court of Appeal with the type of ASUU’s application,” he said.
Justice Barka Hamma, after taking arguements from the two parties, announced that the ruling of the court will be delivered on Friday, October 7.