The Presiding Judge, Gombe Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Mustapha Tijjani has granted an order of mandatory injunction compelling Dr. Yusuf Yahaya, Ismail Hassan, Ismail Haruna, Sulaiman Aminu, and Dahiru Umar to vacate office as executives of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Bauchi State University Chapter on or before the 16th day of August 2022.
The Court stated that Dr. Yusuf Yahaya and 4 others’ tenure has expired since June 2020 and there is no justification for them to hold on to the offices after their tenure expiration and no provision for such in the Union Constitution.
Justice Tijjani ruled that the ASUU Constitution does not provide for the setting up of a Caretaker Committee and in order not to create a vacuum in the leadership of the Union; ordered that the Independent Electoral Committee duly constituted by the Congress of the Union SHALL, before August 16, 2022, conclude the election process.
From facts, the claimant- Dr. Ibrahim Danjuma had submitted that the Union Congress constituted a 5-member Independent Electoral Committee to conduct the general elections into the offices of the Branch of the Union, that some members wrote to the Electoral Committee over its screening exercise and sought for some contestants to be disqualified on certain grounds outside the time frame, that the ASUU President and its Zonal Coordinator interfered and pressured the electoral committee into postponing the election in the night of its eve without any cogent reason.
The claimant averred that the postponement was ill-motivated in order to truncate the smooth transition of power in the Union, and urged the court to grant the reliefs sought.
In defense, the Defendants’ posited that ASUU President and its Zonal Coordinator never pressurized the electorate committee to postpone the election, that there are good reasons why the election was postponed and it was to ensure compliance with the Constitution of the Union.
Learned Counsel to the Union submitted that conditions precedent for the commencement of the action was not fulfilled by the Claimant, that the Court lacks the jurisdiction to entertain the matter, and urged the Court to dismiss the case in its entirety.
In opposition, the claimant learned Counsel contended that the Constitution of the Union did not provide for tenure elongation, and no valid executive to lay a complaint to, urged the court to affirm jurisdiction and grant the reliefs sought.
Delivering judgment after careful evaluation of the submission of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Mustapha Tijjani held that the failure and collapse of the branch executive complained about is sufficient reason for the provision of the Grievance Procedure to be put in abeyance for the operation of Article 5(iv) of the Constitution to sail.
Justice Tijjani affirmed the Court jurisdiction and further held that to bar Dr. Ibrahim Danjuma in this instance upon insistence on compliance with the Grievance Procedure which has no validly existent body or machinery to operationalize, is tantamount to deprivation of the Claimant’s right under Article 5(iv) of the Constitution as well as under the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended.
Justice Tijjani stated that the term of office of the Dr. Yusuf Yahaya and 4 others who were elected into their respective offices in June 2018 has expired since June 2020 and there is no justification for them to hold on to the offices after the term’s expiration and no provision for such in the Union Constitution.
Justice Tijjanni held that the Branch Electoral Committee cannot accept, treat and or give credence to any petition, observation, or criticism made by any member of the Union outside the prescribed period for the receipt of the said petitions.
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