By Adesina Wahab, Johnbosco Agbakwuru & Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA
The National Industrial Court, NIC, sitting in Abuja, yesterday, ordered the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, to call off its seven-month-old strike.
But ASUU in a swift reaction said it would appeal the ruling today, just as the National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS, expressed satisfaction with the order of the court, saying students had been the major victims of the strike.
Similarly, parents, under the aegis of the National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, asked the government and the union to obey the ruling of the court.
The court order in a ruling delivered by Justice Polycarp Hamman followed an application the Federal Government filed for an interlocutory order to compel ASUU, which embarked on strike since February 14, to return to the classroom.
The Federal Government’s lawyer, Mr James Igwe, had prayed the court to order the striking varsity lecturers too, in the interim, return to work pending the determination of the substantive suit before the court.
He maintained that the matter is not only urgent but also of great national interest as millions of students had been at home for over seven months.
“Section 47 of the Trade Dispute Act, TDA, gives your lordship the power to direct that no worker should continue to embark on strike pending when the applications are heard and determined,” Igwe argued.