The June 8, 2022 directive of the Edo state government suspending trade union activities in tertiary institutions in the state has been declared unconstitutional, illegal, null and void by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), in Benin city.
The judgment was sequel to suit No: NICN/BEN/40/2022 brought before the court by chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Ambrose Alli University chapter, Dr Cyril Onogbosele and Assistant Secretary, Dr William Odion on behalf of the union against the governor of Edo state, the Attorney General of the state and the Edo state government who are defendants.
“A declaration that the defendants have no power whatsoever to interfere or intermeddle with the claimants’ exercise of their rights, as members of a registered trade union, Academic Staff Union of Universities to engage in trade union activities at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
“An order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants, their servants, employees and/or agents from interfering with or intermeddling in the claimants’ exercise of their fundamental right to engage in trade union activities at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
“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.”
Delivering judgment, Justice A. A. Adewemimo ruled that the state government was wrong to have suspended trade union activities in the AAU and other tertiary institutions in the state.
Onogbosele, while reacting to the ruling on Sunday, hailed the judgment, saying, “The court judgment is a victory for constitutionalism, the rule of law, and due process.”