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FG wrong, ASUU didn’t lie about appeal, says SAN



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Activist-lawyer Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa has faulted claims by Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) lied that it had appealed a National Industrial Court ruling directing it to call off its strike.

Adegboruwa reasoned that the Minister may not be aware of the court’s definition of “appeal”.

The nationwide strike by ASUU has crippled all academic activities in all public universities since February 14.

Following the failure of protracted negotiations by stakeholders to resolve the issue, the government approached the court.

On September 21, Justice Polycarp Hamman ordered ASUU to end the strike.

Justice Hamman, in a ruling, said he was invoking Section 18 of the Trade Dispute Act, which allows the court to order an end to a strike when national interest is at stake.

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Berating ASUU in a statement on Sunday, Ngige said: “The union is dishonest and misleading its members and the general public, that it has filed an appeal as well as a stay of execution of the order of National Industrial Court of September 21, 2022, though it has none of this.

“Rather, ASUU only filed an application for permission to appeal the order. It also attached to the application, a proposed notice of appeal which it intends to file if the leave to appeal is granted.

“The application for a stay of execution, as of this moment, has not even been listed for hearing.”

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But educating the Minister, Adegboruwa said in a statement: “Under and by virtue of the Court of Appeal Rules: ‘Appeal’ means the filing of a notice of appeal, and includes an application for leave to appeal.

“It is therefore not dishonest or misleading for ASUU to state that it has appealed against the ruling of the National Industrial Court directing it to call off its strike, even though ASUU is seeking leave to appeal.

“Thus, in law, an applicant for leave to appeal is also an appellant.”

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