- A Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana has hit out at the federal government for registering new academic unions
- Falana said the registration of another academic union is illegal and unconstitutional
- He stated that two unions cannot exist in a sector and that there is a judicial precedent backing it
Human rights lawyer and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Femi Falana, made this known on Thursday, October 5.
Recall that Legit.ng reported that the minister for labour and employment, Chris Ngige handed certificates of registration to the Congress of Nigerian Universities Academics (CONUA) and the National Association of Medical and Dental Academics (NAMDA).
Confirming the latest development, the president of ASUU, Emmanuel Osodeke, said the union will be filing a suit against the federal government over the registration of new academic unions.
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Further reactions from Falana reveal that the registration of the new academic union is unlawful.
Making reference to the stipulations of the Trade Union Act, Falana revealed that only a single union is allowed to operate in a sector.
“You can’t have two trade unions in the same sector. Only a union is allowed to be registered for all academics in Nigeria.
“That is the essence of the classification of trade unions because we used to have mushrooms in the First Republic so the government restructured the unions and grouped all academics together and all non-academics together. You can’t have two or three in one field."
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The senior lawyer also disclosed that there is judgement from the apex court in the proliferation of trade unions – the Erasmus Osawe V Registrar of Trade Unions.
The Supreme Court ruling says:
“That your freedom of association is not totalled; it is also regulated by the Trade Unions Act so that there will be no proliferation of trade unions”.
The academic union, ASUU has been in a long streak of industrial action which has kept students of public universities at home for seven months and still counting.
ASUU reincarnated their long battle with the federal government for their failure to meet the needs of the welfare of lecturers, disagreement in the payment platform of lecturers and a host of others.
Rival union, CONUA reels out plans for Nigerian universities
Meanwhile, the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) has kick-started a new era of academic unionism.
The emergence of CONUA has been predicted to be a major threat to the existence and relevance of ASUU.
Niyi Sunmonu, the national coordinator of CONUA stated that the union is on course to handle matters differently with more poise and civility.