The National Industrial Court of Nigeria in Benin City, Edo State has declared the directive of Governor Godwin Obaseki to suspend trade union activities in tertiary institutions in the state as unconstitutional, illegal, null and void.
This ruling came after the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Ambrose Alli University chapter, challenged the directive of the governor in suit No: NICN/BEN/40/2022, represented by Dr Cyril Onogbosele and Dr William Odion as claimants.
The defendants in the case included Governor Godwin Obaseki, the State Attorney General, and the Edo State government.
The suit sought a declaration that the suspension of trade union activities at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma was unconstitutional, null and void, and beyond the powers of the defendants.
The claimants also sought an order of perpetual injunction restraining the defendants and their agents from interfering with the claimants’ exercise of their fundamental right to engage in trade union activities at Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.
Delivering the judgment, Justice A. A. Adewemimo ruled that the government had no power to suspend trade union activities at AAU and other tertiary institutions in the state. Onogbosele hailed the judgment, describing it as a victory for the rule of law, constitutionalism, and due process.
The ruling is a significant victory for the AAU chapter of ASUU and other trade unions operating in Edo state’s tertiary institutions.