Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, has filed a lawsuit against the Federal Government over alleged discriminatory, unfair and illegal treatment of members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Joined in the suit as defendants are: Minister of Labour and Employment, Attorney General of the Federation and Accountant General of the Federation.
In the suit, number NICN/ABJ/152/2023, filed, yesterday, on behalf of ASUU, Falana is asking the court to determine “whether having paid the salaries of members of the Joint Staff Union, National Association of Resident Doctors and lecturers in the medical facilities of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nnewi Campus, Anambra State, during the period of industrial actions, the decision of the defendants to withhold the salaries of members of the claimant from February to October 2022 is not discriminatory and illegal.”
Falana is also asking the court to determine “whether the members of ASUU are not entitled to payment of their salaries for the months of February to October 2022 forthwith.”
ASUU seeks, among others, “a declaration that having regards to the provisions of Section 42 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended and Articles 2 and 19 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 2004, the decision of the defendants to pay the members of the National Association of Resident Doctors who were on strike from September to October 2021, while electing to withhold the salaries of members of the claimant who took part in an industrial action from February to October 2022, is discriminatory, unlawful, null and void.
“An order mandating the 3rd defendant to pay the withheld salaries of the members of the claimant for the months of February to October 2022 forthwith.”
No date has been fixed for hearing of the suit.