The National Industrial Court of Nigeria sitting in Benin City, Edo State, has restrained the authorities of the state-ownedAmbrose Alli University, Ekpoma, from further issuing queries or disciplining any academic staff of the university in respect of the Biometrics Verification Exercise in the university pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice before the court.
Ruling on a motion Ex-Parte brought before the court on the February 2, 2022 by the university’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the presiding judge, Honourable Justice A. A. Adewemimo held that “an order of interim injunction is hereby issued restraining the defendants, agents, privies from further issuing queries or disciplining any academic staff member of the 3rd defendants on the matter which is subject matter of a pre-action notice from the claimants/applicants dated December 28, 2021, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice in this suit.”
The court further ordered that a copy of the motion on notice should be served on the defendants within 48 hours.
Having granted the restraining order, Justice Adewemimoadjourned hearing on the motion on notice for interlocutory injunction to February 23, 2022.
The university’s acting vice chancellor, acting registrar and the university itself are defendants in the suit wherein the chairman and assistant secretary of the university’s chapter of ASUU, Dr. Cyril Ozeigbe Onogbosele, and Dr. William Odion respectively, are claimants who on behalf of the union sought for the restraining order.
The union approached the court as a result of flagrant disregard for due process and the laws of the University by the Special Intervention Team (SIT) of the university evident in the vexatious violation of the extant Rules and Regulations Governing the Scheme of Service of Senior Staff of the university, particularly as it relates to the section on Pre-Action Notice.
The university’s chapter of ASUU had raised series of complaints against the Biometrics Verification Exercise which the Union also declared inconclusive.
The union had served a 30-day Pre-Action Notice on the university authorities to either redress the flaws which characterized the exercise or face a legal action.
The union wondered that instead of addressing the complaints of anomalies and illegalities in the shoddily conducted Biometrics Verification Exercise, the handlers in collaboration with the university authorities went ahead to issue queries as prelude to disciplinary action against members of the Academic Staff of the University; even during the pendency of the Pre-Action of Notice in violation of the extant rules and regulation of the university.
By the restraining order of the court, all activities pertaining to the Biometrics Verification Exercise are to be halted, pending the hearing and determination of the motion on notice filed contemporaneously with the motion Ex-Parte.