The federal government has warned the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) against ignoring the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) order to call off its industrial action.
Chris Ngige, the minister of labour and employment, said the union is misleading Nigerians with its claim of filing an appeal against the order.
He called on the union to respect the court and return to work, while negotiations are concluded on the remaining issues in contention.
The minister spoke on Sunday in a statement signed by Olajide Oshundun, deputy director, press and public relations, ministry of labour and employment.
“The union is dishonest and misleading its members and the general public, that it has filed an appeal as well as a stay of execution of the order of NICN on September 2, though it has none of this,” he said.
“Rather, ASUU only filed an application for a permission to appeal the order. It also attached to the application, a proposed notice of appeal which it intends to file if the leave to appeal is granted.
“The application for a stay of execution as of this moment has not even been listed for hearing. Where then is ASUU coming from?
“It is therefore contemptuous, dishonest and misleading for the union to tell its members that it has not only appealed the interlocutory injunction by the NICN, directing it to call off strike and return to work but that it also has a stay of execution.”
The minister said the federal government “strongly frowns” at ASUU’s directive asking its members to continue with the strike, describing it as “unwarranted lawlessness”.
Ngige accused the union leadership of misinforming and misleading its members and warned of consequences of contempt of court order.
The minister also denied reports that he walked out of the meeting between the house of representatives and ASUU on September 29.
Ngige said he left the meeting to attend to other pressing matters with the permission of Femi Gbajabiamila, the speaker of the house of representatives, after making his presentation.