Femi Falana, a human rights lawyer, has launched a case against the Federal Government for claimed discriminatory, unfair, and illegal treatment of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) members.
Defendants in the claim include the Minister of Labour and Employment, the Attorney General of the Federation, and the Accountant General of the Federation.
Falana is asking the court to rule on 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 defendants’ decision to withhold the salaries of members of the claimant from February to October 2022 is not discriminatory and illegal.
Falana further requests that the court rule on “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 other things, “a declaration that, having regard to the provisions of Section 42 of the Federal Republic of Nigeria’s Constitution, 1999 as amended, and Articles 2 and 19 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act 2004, the defendants’ decision 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 directing the third defendant to immediately pay the withheld salaries of the claimant’s members for the months of February to October 2022.”
There is no set date for the suit’s hearing.