The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has dragged the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, before the National Industrial Court in Benin following suspension of union activities across state-owned higher institutions.
The suspended unions are ASUU, 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.Other defendants in the suit are Edo State Government and Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice.
The suit filed by Kingsley Obamogie on behalf of claimants, Dr. Cyril Onogbosele (Chairmen) and Dr. William Odion (Assistant Secretary) of ASUU, Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma said that 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.
They are also seeking 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 to engage in trade union activities at the Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
They are also seeking 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 among other injunctions.
The claimants are also 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”.
No date has been fixed for the suit supported with a 15 paragraph affidavit in an originating summon dated June 14. Recall that following the strike embarked upon by ASUU, the Edo State Government had through the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Osarodion Ogie, announced suspension of unions’ activities in state-owned institutions and 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”.