Senior Advocates of Nigeria and Professors of Law (SAN), who are also members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have been called upon among others to stand for the union as hearing of the case instituted by the Federal Government at the National Industrial Court begins on Monday.
Recall that the Federal Government had instituted a court case against ASUU before the apex industrial court over the ongoing strike which has lingered for over six months.
The union is demanding, among others, the release of the revitalisation fund for universities, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, deployment of the University Transparency Accountability System for the payment of salaries and allowances of lecturers, release of the white paper report of the visitation panels to universities and the renegotiation of the ASUU-FGN 2009 agreement.
After efforts to end the strike failed, the government decided to drag the union before the industrial court.
Speaking during an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, a member of the union’s National Executive Council, who did not want his name in print because he was not assigned to speak with the press, said the union would make use of its members who are senior lawyers.
The source disclosed that, “The president is meant to address this but we will be in court on Monday (today); we have members who are Senior Advocates and Professors of Law, they will be defending the union pro-bono,”
Also speaking with our correspondent, the ASUU’s National Vice-President, Dr. Chris Piwuna, confirmed that members would be in court for the hearing.
“We will be in court tomorrow (Monday) morning. Earlier, we met with the Minister of Education but we are ready for anything. That is the nature of the struggle,” he said.
Chairman, ASUU, Federal University of Minna, Dr Gbolahan Bolarin, had also said the union had received the notification to be in court on Monday (today), but howver expressed its shock over the move by the federal government.
Although, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had asked the court to give the case an accelerated hearing to quickly bring the strike to an end.
“In view of the fact that ASUU members have been on strike since February 14, 2022, and have refused to call off the action despite the apprehension of same, it would be appreciated if this dispute is given an accelerated hearing to bring the dispute to an end,” the court document marked HMO/LAB/ISO/15 read in part.