Planned Labour Strike Not Illegal, Falana Tells FG

Femi Falana
Femi Falana

Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, on Sunday said the planned strike by labour leaders is not illegal as the freedom of expression is backed by the Constitution.

The Nigerian Labour Congress had announced that it would embark on a nationwide protest on July 26 and 27 to compel the government to resolve the over five-month-old strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

Addressing a press conference last Wednesday, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed described the protest as illegal, saying it will create anarchy in the country.

But Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, said the protest cannot be said to be illegitimate as Sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 create room for freedom of assembly of Nigerian workers.

“With respect, the proposed protest cannot be said to be illegal since it is an expression of the freedom of expression and freedom of assembly of Nigerian workers guaranteed by sections 39 and 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 and articles 39 and 40 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Ratification and Enforcement Act Cap A9, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004,” Falana said.

“Indeed the fundamental right of the people of Nigeria to protest for and against the Government was upheld by the Court of Appeal in the celebrated case of the Inspector-General of Police v All Nigeria Peoples Party (2008) 12 WRN 65.”

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