Justice A.A. Adewemimo of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, Benin has scheduled Monday 27th June for the hearing of the suit between the Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma Chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and Edo State Government over the latter’s suspension of union activities at all state-owned tertiary institutions in the state, Myschoolnews.ng gathered.
The state government had on June 8 suspended all union activities in all state-owned institutions of higher learning throughout the state.
In a statement by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Osarodion Ogie, he specifically listed the affected unions as ASUU, Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non-Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and all allied unions in all state-owned tertiary institutions.
Angered by the action, the striking lecturers approached the court on 14th June through their counsel, Mr Kingsley Obamogie in suit No: NICN/BEN/40/2022 to seek a declaration that the order or directive of the state government for the suspension of trade union activities at AAU, Ekpoma was unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and the same is ultra vires the power of the state government.
In the originating summons, the plaintiffs which include the local chairman of ASUU, Dr. Cyris Onogbosele and the secretary, Dr. Williams Odion also want a declaration from the court that the defendants which include the Governor of Edo State and two others have no power whatsoever to interfere or intermeddle with the claimants to exercise of their rights as a member of a registered trade union, ASUU to engage in trade union at the university.
The claimants also pray the court to grant an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants or their servants, employees and/or agents from interfering or intermeddling in the claimants’ exercise of their fundamental rights to engage in trade union activities at the state-owned tertiary institution.
The court is further being asked by the claimants for an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants and/or privies from taking any form of disciplinary action against claimants on account of their trade union activities at the university.