The case between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has been adjourned till September 16.
The federal government had on Monday urged the court to order the ASUU to call off its seven months strike.
The Federal Government addressed the court sitting in Abuja, soliciting an order for ASUU to resume as it continues to engage the union to address their dispute.
The Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, released a statement that indicated that the matter was referred to the registrar of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria by the Minister, Chris Ngige on Thursday 8 September.
At Monday’s proceedings, the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) aspired to join the suit as an interested party.
Ebun-Olu Adegnoruwa (SAN), SERAP’s lawyer, said his client had filed an identical suit to make the Federal Government honour its 2009 agreement with the striking lecturers.
He said SERAP’s appeal to join in the matter is based on the need to forestall the duplicity of developments concerning the industrial dispute.
However, counsel to the Federal Government, Tijjani Gazali (SAN) objects to SERAP’s application to consolidate the suits.
He told the judge that SERAP’s application was impulsive as the case was billed for mention on Monday. However, counsel to ASUU, Femi Falana, argued that he was acquainted with the efforts by lawyers to file court papers in the suit on Monday.
The judge ruled that the suit is not ready for consolidation by SERAP. The judge said he was only presiding over the matter as a vacation judge and that the case would be assigned to another judge for adjudication.
He mandated the parties in the suit to file and exchange court documents as he adjourned the matter to Friday, 16 September 2022.
Counsel to ASUU, Falana, while briefing journalists outside the court, rebuked the Federal Government for going to the court.
He said the Federal Government should stop trying to blackmail ASUU, maintaining that university lecturers have not stopped working.
On his part, the counsel to the Federal Government, Tijanni Gazali, said ASUU could not dictate to the Federal Government what platform its members are to be paid.
Tijanni said the agreement reached between the Federal Government and ASUU has been substantially implemented and that details of their agreement will form part of the papers they will be filing before the court.