The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has asked the Court of Appeal in Abuja to stay the execution of the order of the National Industrial Court (NIC) directing it to end its ongoing strike commenced on February 14.
The request is contained in a motion for leave to appeal filed before the Court of Appeal on Friday by lawyers to ASUU.
In the motion on notice filed under sections 6 (6)(b); 36(1) and 243(3) of the Constitution and pursuant Order 6 Rules 1 of the Court of Appeal Rules 2021, ASUU also wants an order granting it leave to appeal the order issued on September 21 by Justice Polycarp Hamman.
In the motion, accompanied with a 14-ground proposed notice of appeal, ASUU stated that it’s decision to apply for permission to appeal the NIC’s ruling was in compliance with the court’s rules, which request ought to be granted.
It stated among the grounds for filing the motion for leave to appeal, that it was, by virtue of Section 243  of the 1999 Constitution, required to seek the leave of the appellate court to appeal against the decision by the NIC.
“The applicant is bringing this appeal both on grounds of law and on grounds bothering on fundamental human tights.
‘Applicant’s counsel out of the abundance of caution, has brought this application to obviate any doubt associated with the nature of the appeal.
‘The applicant is still within time to bring this application for leave.
“This honourable court should not shut out the defendant and thousands of Its members desirous of ventilating their grievances pursuant to Sections 6  [b] and 36 } of the 1999 Constitution.
“The ruling of the court, per Honourable Justice P.I. Hamman in SUIT NO: NICN/ABJ/270/2022 between FEDERAL GOVERNMNT OF NIGERIA & 1 OR. VS ACADEMIC STAFF UNION OF UNIVERSITIES delivered on the 21th day of September, 2022 affects the fundamental rights of the applicant and its members to fair hearing, inter alia and it would be in the interest of justice to stay the execution of same pending the hearing and determination of the appeal arising thereto.”
In the proposed notice of appeal, ASUU wants the appellate court to among others, set aside the September 21 ruling of the NIC.
It is contending that the trial judge erred in law when he ordered the striking teachers to resume work with the dispute yet to be resolved.
In the first group of appeal, ASUU stated that “the trial judge erred in law and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of justice when he decided to hear and determine the respondents’ (Federal Government ‘s) motion for interlocutory injunction when he knew or ought to have known that the substantive suit filed by the claimant was not initiated by due process of law.
In another ground ASUU argued that Justice Hamman “erred in law and thereby occasioned a miscarriage of justice when he granted the respondents’ application for interlocutory injunction pending the determination of the substantive suit on the basis of the incurably defective referral filed on September 8, 2022.
“A court is bound to resolve issues surrounding the competence and validity of an initiating process before proceeding to grant reliefs in an application emanating therefrom.
“It was established before the learned trial court that the referral was incurably defective and bad and thus ought to be discountenanced as the learned trial court had no business assuming jurisdiction.”