The Court of Appeal in Abuja on Wednesday asked the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to explore the option of an out-of-court settlement in resolving the ongoing strike.
Justice Polycarp Hamman of the National Industrial Court has in his ruling, granted the Federal Government’s application for an interlocutory injunction to restrain ASUU from continuing with the strike.
The judge also ordered members of the union to resume work pending the determination of the substantive suit.
But ASUU has appealed against the ruling through its legal team led by Mr Femi Falana (SAN) and anchored the appeal on 14 grounds.
The union is seeking the leave of the appellate court to file the appeal pursuant to section 243 of the 1999 Constitution that requires a leave of court to appeal the judgment or ruling of the National Industrial Court.
ASUU is also seeking a stay of execution of the order of the court, pending the determination of the appeal.
When the matter came on Wednesday, Justice of Court of Appeal, Justice Georgewill Abraham suggested that the parties should take 24 hours to dialogue and come up with a resolution that would make Nigerians happy.
Addressing the lawyers to Federal Government, James Igwe and that of ASUU, Mr Femi Falana (SAN, the judge said: “There is time for everything; time for war and time for peace.
“As ministers in the temple of justice, we want to see the two of you as senior lawyers to encourage and explore an amicable settlement of this dispute.
“In fact, we expect to return to this court on Thursday with good news that the dispute has been thrashed out and all the appreciation of Nigerians will go to you.
“So, talk to your clients to take the interest of the nation into consideration for the sake of our children. As you leave here, go and sit down and talk and resolve the matter”.
Responding, Igwe and Falana agreed to dialogue.
But Falana pointed out that both parties would have to reach a compromise for the issue to be resolved amicably.
The appellate court later fixed Thursday (tomorrow) to hear ASUU’s motion seeking to stay execution of the National Industrial Court’s judgment.
TheIdeal recalls that ASUU has been on strike since February 14 to press home its demand for improved funding for universities, a review of salaries for lecturers and other contentious issues.
After several meetings between ASUU and the Federal Government ended in deadlock, the latter went to the National Industrial Court to challenge the strike.