The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has dragged Edo State governor, Godwin Obaseki before the National Industrial Court in Benin over the suspension of all union activities across all state-owned institutions of higher learning.
Other suspended Unions include, Non-Academic Staff of Universities (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non-Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and all allied Unions operating across all state-owned tertiary institutions.
The legal tussle by ASUU comes one week the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie announced the Government decision after the State Executive Council meeting in Benin City where he directed “the management of the institution to implement a no-work-no-pay policy, declare vacant and advertise the position of any staff that refuses to resume work in line with this directive”.
The Edo State government and Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and Edo State Government are other defendants that were joined in the suit marked, NICN/BEN/40/2022, and filed by Kingsley Obamogie esq on behalf of Claimants while Dr. Cyril Oziege (Chairmen) and Dr. William Odion (Assistant Secretary) of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose are Claimants.
The Claimants are asking the court to determine “Whether upon the correct interpretation and construction of Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) and 35(3) of the Trade Union Act.,.Cap. T14, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, the Defendants are not bereft of power to suspend or prohibit Trade Union Activities of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma”.
The Claimants reliefs before the National Industrial court Benin Division are anchored on four grounds.
A declaration that the order or directive of the defendants for the suspension of trade union activities of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void, and same is ultra vires the powers of the defendants.
A declaration that the defendants have no power whatsoever to interfere or meddle with the Claimants’ exercise of their rights, as members of a Registered trade Union, Academic Staff Union of Universities to engage in trade Union activities at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, employees and/or agents from or interfering with or intermeddling in the Claimants’ exercise of their fundamental right to engage in trade Union activities at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, agents and/or privies from taking any form of disciplinary action against the Claimants on account of their trade Union activities at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
The suit is supported with a 15 paragraph affidavit in an originating summon before the court dated 14th day of June 2022.
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.
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