By Bolanle Olabimta, TheCable
The Court of Appeal sitting in Abuja has ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to call off its strike.
At the court session on Friday, the appellate court said ASUU should obey the order of an industrial court which directed the suspension of the strike before seeking to appeal the judgment.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home the demand for improved funding for universities, and a review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues.
After several meetings to resolve the strike ended inconclusively, the federal government proceeded to the national industrial court to challenge the action.
The industrial court, in a ruling delivered on September 21, granted the federal government’s application for an interlocutory injunction to restrain ASUU from continuing with the strike pending the determination of the substantive suit.
Not satisfied with the ruling, ASUU approached the court of appeal seeking leave to challenge the lower court’s decision.
The court of appeal on Wednesday had asked the parties to explore the option of an out-of-court settlement.
However, at the court session on Thursday, both parties agreed to proceed with the hearing after failing to reach a settlement.
Delivering a ruling at the resumed court session on Friday, a three-member panel of the appellate court granted the union “conditional leave” to appeal the industrial court’s decision.
The panel led by Hamman Barka said for ASUU to file its notice of appeal within seven days, it must show evidence that its members have resumed work immediately.
The panel held that failure to adhere to the order will make the appeal incompetent before the court of appeal.
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