From Olalekan Awojodu, Abuja
The Court of Appeal in Abuja has challenged the Federal Government and the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities ASUU to resolve their dispute amicably out of court.
At the Wednesday proceedings, the Appellate Court suggested 24 hours for the two parties to have a rethink, sit down and come out with resolution that would make Nigerians happy.
Justice Georgewill Biobele Abraham threw the challenge when the Federal Government and ASUU appear before the for hearing in the appeal instituted by ASUU against the judgment of the National Industrial Court.
Justice Georgewill specifically tasked counsel to the Federal Government, Mr James Igwe SAN and that of ASUU, Mr Femi Falana SAN to first sit down as lawyers, take patriotic position and convey the position to their clients.
“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 amicable settlement of this dispute.
“In fact, we expect you 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.”
Counsel to the Federal Government, James Igwe thanked the Justices for the admonitions and promised to look into the counselling with his colleague.
Falana in his arguments remarked that he had initiated something similar and would be happy to do more on the way out of the strike.
The Senior lawyer however restated that amicable resolution of the matter would involve give and take from the two parties.
Meanwhile, the court presided over by Justice Barka Hamma Akawu has fixed October 6 for hearing in a motion filed by ASUU for stay of execution of the judgment of the Industrial Court which ordered the striking lecturers to go and resume work pending the resolution of their dispute with the Federal Government.
At the Wednesday’s proceedings, Femi Falana SAN had sought to move the motion but the Federal Government lawyer objected on the ground that he had not been served with the motion dated September 28.
The record of the Court however revealed that the motion was served on the office of the Attorney General of the Federation AGF.
Following this, the government lawyer sought for a short adjournment to enable him respond to the motion.
Presiding Justice Barka Hamma Akawu subsequently fixed October 6 for hearing of the motion.
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