By Innocent Anaba
The on-going strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has become a subject of litigation at a Federal High Court in Lagos as a lawyer, Mr Nonso Ezika, has dragged the union, Minister of Education, Dr. Sam Egwu and the Minister of Labour, Mr. Adetokunbo Kayode, before the court.
The plaintiff in the suit is seeking a declaration of the court that the continued joint negotiation and strike of both federal and state universities lecturers is unlawful and unconstitutional, having regards to the countryâ€™s federal system of government and constitution.
He wants the court to direct the lecturers to resume work immediately or in the alternative tender their resignation letters. The lawyer also wants the court to halt payment of salaries to the lecturers and then split ASUU into Academic Staff Union of Federal Universities (ASUFU) and Academic Staff Union of State Universities (ASUSU).
He averred that he has wards in a university and that he took loan from an organisation to pay their tuition fees, on the understanding that they were to spend four years each for their courses and that the interests on the loans are mounting.
According to him, ASUU comprising lecturers from both the federal and state universities cannot be negotiating jointly with the Education and Labour Ministers, who are federal institutions, as such negotiations will have the effect of binding state governments and will run against the spirit of the countryâ€™s federal constitution.
No date has been fixed for the haring of the matter.