The National Industrial Court has fixed Wednesday 21 September to decide on an application by the government seeking that University lecturers resume work while awaiting the decision of the court on their seven month long strike.
The Court Monday began hearing on an application by the Federal Government seeking that the Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU resume work.
Justice Polycarp Hamman began hearing on the application of the Government after ruling against a preliminary objection against that same by ASUU noting that the Court is meant to hear the application by the government.
Justice Hamman gave this position after setting aside an application by ASUU through its counsel, Femi Falana, opposing to the Court’s hearing of the Federal Government’s application.
The Court further noted that the preliminary objection was not yet ripe for hearing, adding that the rule of the Court has provision to hear both the preliminary objection alongside the main suit.
In arguing the application, James Igwe, for the government said Section 18(1)E of the Trade Disputes Act provides that employees cannot be on strike when a matter is before the Industrial Court.
Falana however said a referral from the Minister of Labour seeking an order of the court asking ASUU to return to work amounts to ordering the Industrial Court, a power which he says the Nigerian President does not have.
Counsels of both parties in the suit later spoke to newsmen on the direction of the case.