The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU)’s strike has taken a legal turn, with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, dragging the union to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Abuja.
This was revealed in a leaked letter from the Minister to the Chief Registrar of the Industrial Court on September 8, alleging that the suit was brought because ASUU refused to call off its strike action, which is in its seventh month.
In the letter, Ngige asked the court to expedite the hearing so that the dispute between the Union and the government could be resolved as soon as possible.
Entitled ‘Forwarding of a Referral Instrument in the Trade Dispute Between the FG/Federal Ministry of Education and ASUU,” the letter state in part:
“Please find attached three original copies of a Referral Instrument regarding the trade dispute between the FG /Federal Ministry of Education and ASUU for adjudication by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.
“The Referral Instrument is raised in line with powers vested on the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment by trade dispute resolution mechanisms and the provision of Section 17 of the Trade Dispute Act. CAP. T8 Laws of the Fderation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004.
“In view of the fact that ASUU members have been on strike since February 14, 2222, and have refused to call off the action despite apprehension of same, it would he appreciated if this dispute is given an accelerated hearing in order to bring the dispute to an end.”