The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma chapter, has dragged governor Godwin Obaseki, to the Benin judicial division of the National industrial court for suspending the activities of the body and the Non-Academic Staff of Universities (NASU), across all state-owned institutions of higher learning.
The suit, with reference number NICN/BEN/40/2022, was filed on Tuesday, a few days after the State Executive Council announced the suspension of the activities of ASUU, NASU, Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non-Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and all allied unions operating across all state-owned tertiary institutions.
Recall that the state government’s decision, which was contained in a statement signed by Osarodion Ogie, secretary to the state government, was sequel to the protest by students of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, over the lingering strike embarked on by ASUU.
Besides the halt of the unions’ activities, the state government also ordered the immediate resumption of academic activities in state-owned tertiary institutions, directed the management of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, to implement a no-work-no-pay policy, as well as declare vacant and advertise the position of any staff that refuses to resume work in line with the directive.
The petition, which was filed by Kingsley Obamogie on behalf of Cyril Oziegbe and William Odion, chairman and assistant secretary of ASUU Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma chapter, respectively, has, in addition to Godwin Obaseki as defendants, the Attorney General of Edo State and the Edo state government.
The claimants stated that the directive for the suspension of trade union activities at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma is “unconstitutional, illegal, null and void and same is ultra vires the powers of the defendants.”
The union, among other reliefs sought, prayed for 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.