Court Nullifies Obaseki’s Suspension Of Union Activities In Universities
The National Industrial Court of Nigeria, sitting in Benin City, Edo State capital, has declared the Edo state government’s June 8, 2022 directive suspending trade union activities in tertiary institutions in the state as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
Recall that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Ambrose Alli University chapter, had approached the NICN in a suit No: NICN/BEN/40/2022, through its lawyer, Kingsley Obamogie, to challenge Governor Godwin Obaseki’s directive suspending all unions in the state’s tertiary institutions.
The claimants in the suit were the ASUU chairman, AAU chapter, Dr Cyril Onogbosele, and Assistant Secretary, Dr William Odion, while the defendants were Obaseki, the state Attorney General, and the Edo State government.
The ASUU, AAU chapter, also asked the court to declare that “the defendants’ order or directive for the suspension of trade union activities at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma is unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and is ultra vires the defendants’ powers.”
“A declaration that the defendants have no authority to interfere with the claimants’ exercise of their rights as members of a registered trade union, Academic Staff Union of Universities, to engage in trade union activities at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.”
“A perpetual injunction prohibiting the defendants, their servants, employees, and/or agents from interfering with or interfering with the claimants’ exercise of their fundamental right to engage in trade union activities at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.”
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, agents, and/or privies from taking any form of disciplinary action against the claimants on account of their trade union activities at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.”
Justice A. A. Adewemimo ruled in his judgement that the state government was wrong to suspend trade union activities at the AAU and other tertiary institutions in the state.
Onogbosele praised the ruling on Sunday, saying, “The court judgement is a victory for constitutionalism, the rule of law, and due process.”
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