A’Court gave ASUU permission to appeal provided it call off it’s strike immediately

The court of Appeal on Friday granted leave to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to appeal the decision of the industrial court provided the lecturers resumed work immediately in compliance with the lower court order.

National Industrial Court had September 21, in ruling on an interlocutory injunction application brought by the federal government, ordered ASUU to immediately call off the eight months old strike and return the lecturers to the classroom.

Dissatisfied with ruling ASUU lead counsel Femi Falana SAN had filed an application at the court of Appeal seeking leave of the court to challenge the decision of the National Industrial Court. The application was heard on Thursday and ruling shifted till today.

Delivering the lead ruling, Presiding Justice Hamma Barka noted that the substance of the application borders on whether or not the Court of Appeal can grant the applicant application for leave to challenge the ruling of National Industrial Court.

He further noted that the applicant (ASUU) had withdrawn the second application for stay of execution of the lower court order, and Consequently struck the application out.

Justice Barka expressed worries that the applicant has not obey the order of the lower court. ” Worrisome is the disobedience of the order of the National Industrial Court”, that a senior counsel like Femi Falana who is known for his advocacy for obedience to court orders could not convinced his client to comply with a simple order of the court.

However, the presiding Justice stated that the applicant application goes to the Constitutional guaranteed power of the Court of Appeal to hear the grievances of the aggrieved persons from the lower court. He said although, the applicant had breached the order of Court by its disobedience , “I am incline to grant the leave to appeal ” sought by the applicant.

” I challenged Falana to impress on his client to obey the order of the lower court because this court can not be moved without compliance with the order.” he ruled.

On his part, Justice Biobele Abraham Georgewell who concord with the lead ruling said that for the avoidance of doubt, the applicant shall immediately abide and obey the order of the interlocutory injunction made by the lower court.

Second, “Upon the immediate compliance and return to work, to their duty post as in order one above, leave is hereby granted to the applicant to appeal against the decision of the interlocutory order of the lower court made against it.

Thirdly,the applicant shall upon the immediate compliance with the orders above, by complying with the order of interlocutory injunction made against it by the lower court, immediately, today, Oct. 7 and returning to work, we shall allow seven days from today, within which to file the notice and grounds of appeal at the registry of the lower court.

“Most importantly for me, should the applicant fail to comply with the order one of this ruling today and return to work, the leave hereby granted to the applicant is automatically vacated without the need to make any further order”

Justice Ibrahim Gafai, the third member of the panel also agreed with the lead judgment and added that the applicant must comply with the lower court judgment in order to move the court.