SERAP JOINS ASUU IN LAWSUIT

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has joined ASUU in the lawsuit filed by the Federal Government of Nigeria with respect to the ongoing Industrial Action. The Project, through its counsel, Ebun-Olu Adegoruwa (SAN) alleged that it had filed similar suit requesting the court to rule that the Federal Government of Nigeria honour the 2009 agreement with ASUU members. Adegoruwa said: “we filed a similar suit on September 8, 2022 asking the court to compel the Federal Government to honour an agreement it willingly entered into with ASUU” However, the Buhari-led administration through the counsel, Tijjani Gazali (SAN) countered the application claiming that: “SERAP’s application was premature as the case was billed for mention on Monday.”

The Federal Government had filed a suit against the ASUU praying the court to determine if the FG should pay the ASUU members remunerations for the months in which they have been out of their duty posts. The Government also prayed the court to give a thorough breakdown of the Section 18 LFN 2004 provision with respect to the termination of an ongoing industrial action once a the Minister of Labour and Employment has picked up a trade dispute and reconciliation is in process.

The suit that was filed on September 8, 2022 prayed the court to: “Determine whether ASUU has the right to embark on strike over disputes as is the case in this instance by compelling the Federal Government to employ its own University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) in the payment of the wages of its members as against the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) universally used by the Federal Government in the nation for payment of wages of all its employees in the Federal Government Public Service of which university workers, including ASUU members, are part of or even where the government, via NITDA, subjected ASUU and their counterpart, Universities Peculiar Personnel Payroll Systems (UPPPS) software to integrity test (vulnerability and stress test) and they failed.”

Justice Hamman, the presiding judge at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), in his ruling however, took sides with the Federal Government that SERAP’s application was not to be granted as the suit filed by the project is not ripe for consolidation. Explaining that he was only available on interim, the judge said the case will be handed over to another judge the moment the court’s annual vacation is over. He therefore directed that all involved in the suit file and exchange court documents toward

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