The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is battle ready for the Federal Government as no fewer that 46 senior lawyers have indicated interest to defend the union at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).
As the legal action start on Monday, ASUU says if the federal government fails to get judgment, it next option is to sack lecturers in federal universities.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Nwabueze, dragged ASUU to NICN via letter dated September 8, 2022. In the letter addressed to the Registrar, the minister sought for accelerated hearing in order to bring the dispute to an end.
A member of ASUU, Uwar Yobe in his Twitter page said: “46 law professors (22 SANS) have so far volunteered to represent ASUU in her case with the federal government.
“One of the professors is alleged to have supervised the Chief Judge, the National Industrial Court during his masters’ degree.”
ASUU lawyer, Femi Falana is likely to lead the legal team in court to challenge the federal government action.
Some ASUU officials told Daily Sun that it is not the first time government would drag the union to NICN and that the union is ready for the firework ahead.
One of the chairmen said: “Our union is ready for them at the court.”
A zonal Coordinator of the union described the legal action as end game for the government.
On sack option, the union leaders told Daily Sun that members are not scared but stressed that it is also not the first time government would threaten to sack university lecturers.
One of the unionist said: “What other options are open to the government other than sacking if this fail for instance.”
University lecturers on February 14 embarked on four-week strike and twice rolled it over and in August, the union two weeks declared total, comprehensive and indefinite strike.
In an effort to end the six-month strike, the federal government awarded professors 35 percent salary increment and 23.5 percent to other category of lecturers.
The union however rejected the offer and insisted on Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), which was captured in the 2009 agreement and the Briggs lead committee.