AAU: SSANU, NASU, Others Jubilate,As Industrial Court Nullifies Edo Govt’s Suspension Of Trade Unions’ In Tertiary Institutions

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The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), sitting in Benin City, Edo State has declared the June 8, 2022 directive of the Edo State Government, which suspended trade unions’ activities in tertiary institutions in the State, as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and of no effect.

Delivering judgment on suit No: NICN/BEN/41/2022 filed by the Ambrose Alli University (AAU) branch of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) against the Governor of Edo State, Edo State Government and the Attorney General of the State as defendants, His Lordship Hon. Justice A. A. Adewemimo held that the suspension order of the State Government was an infringement on the rights of members of SSANU, NAAT and NASU as guaranteed by the Constitution and Trade Union Act.

Consequently, the Court declared the directive of the Edo State Government, which suspended trade unions’ activities in tertiary institutions in the State, as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.

It would be recalled that the Governor of Edo State, Mr. Godwin Obaseki had on June 8, 2022 directed the suspension of trade unions’ activities in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma and other state-owned tertiary institutions in the State. The suspension order affected the activities of SSANU, NAAT and NASU in the University.

Angered by the suspension order of the state government, SSANU, NAAT and NASU in a joint suit No: NICN/BEN/41/2022 challenged the legality of the suspension, praying the Court to declare that the decision of the Governor suspending the activities of the unions in the University as not in consonance with the provisions of the Trade Union Act, as amended and, therefore, illegal, unlawful and of no effect whatsoever.

They also prayed the Court to declare the action of the Governor as interference in the affairs of trade unions in the university, even as the Unions sought for an order of injunction restraining the Governor and others in carrying out the suspension of union activities in the University.

Justice Adewemimo, in the judgment, granted all the prayers sought by SSANU, NAAT and NASU.

In a swift reacting to the judgment, the Chairman of the University’s Branch of SSANU, Comrade Onofua Thomas said that the judgment was in consonance with the expectation of all members of SSANU, NAAT and NASU, saying “To God be the glory”.

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