Court Strikes Out Suit Against Striking Varsity Lecturers

The National Industrial Court Abuja has struck out a suit instituted by one Umar Lawal, asking the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its seven-month strike and return to classrooms.

Lawal, who claimed to be the President of the National Association of Nigerian Students, had instituted the case on behalf of himself and the association.

Justice Polycarp Hamman, however, struck out the suit on Tuesday after the counsel for Lawal, Debo Ikuesan, withdrew the suit on the grounds that the students’ body is challenging his position as president, denying that he is the leader of NANS as he had deposed to.

Counsel for ASUU, Marshal Abubakar, also informed the court that he is not opposing the application to withdraw the suit.

In the suit, one Umar Faruk, who claimed to be the president of NANS, sought the court’s order mandating ASUU to call off the industrial action it commenced in February 2022.

He said the strike affects students’ right to education under section 18, Chapter 2 of the 1999 constitution as amended. He added that the prolonged strike has caused damage to Nigerian students as they have lost valuable time and opportunity in their educational and career pursuits.

They are seeking an order of the court to, amongst others, order ASUU to call off its strike.

They are also seeking an order of court restraining ASUU and its members from further engaging or partaking in the industrial action they commenced.

The outgoing President of the students’ body, Sunday Asefon, had approached the court claiming that Umar Lawal does not have the mandate of NANS to commence the action.

He said Lawal had contested and lost the position of national president of NANS.

On account of the objection by NANS, counsel for Faruk sought an order to discontinue the case, a stand which the counsel for ASUU, Abubakar Marshall, did not oppose to.

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