The Court of Appeal in Abuja has 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.
ASUU had commenced the strike in February to demand improved funding for universities, and a review of salaries for lecturers, among other issues.
The judge also ordered union members to resume work pending the hearing and determination of the substantive suit.
Subsequently, after the judgment, ASUU filed an appeal through its legal team led by Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, premised on 14 grounds.
The union is seeking the appellate court’s leave to file the appeal pursuant to section 243 of the constitution, which requires a leave of court to appeal the judgment or ruling of the National Industrial Court (NIC).
ASUU is also seeking a stay of execution of the court’s order, pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.
Georgewill Abraham, Justice of the Court of Appeal, suggested that parties take 24 hours to dialogue and come up with a resolution that would make Nigerians happy.
Addressing James Igwe, FG’s counsel, and Femi Falana, counsel to ASUU, 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,” he added.
“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.”
Igwe and Falana responded positively and agreed to dialogue.
However, Falana pointed out that both parties would have to reach a compromise for the issue to be resolved amicably.