ASUU: Registration Of CONUA Illegal – Falana

Human right lawyer and senior advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Femi Falana said the registration of the Congress of Nigerian University Academics (CONUA) by the federal government is illegal.


ASUU: Registration Of CONUA Illegal - Falana
Femi Falana

He said the labor laws in Nigeria do not permit the registration of more than one union in a sector, describing it as a desperate act to end the ASUU strike.

Falana said this in an interview on Arise TV on Wednesday.

“When the application [CONUA] was submitted, the ministry of labor sought legal advice and the ministry was educated to appreciate that under the current labor law regime in Nigeria, you cannot have two unions or three unions in the same sector,” the SAN said.

“In other words, within the academia in Nigeria, there can only be one registered trade union, that is, ASUU, registered pursuant to the trade union act, as amended.

“What happened was a desperate measure to break the strike. The government has tried various measures, but the latest one is perhaps going to embarrass the government because it is an illegal exercise and won’t work. ASUU is today one of the most organized and united trade unions in Africa.

“Registering a splinter group or a couple of them will not in any way dismember ASUU or disorganize ASUU. Once the federal government appreciates this in the next few days, I think the government would again have to stop chasing the shadows.

“We are going to have a mushrooming of trade unions, which threatens industrial peace in the country. We cannot have two unions in the university; neither can we have two unions in other unions in the country. Politically, it won’t work.

In 2018, CONUA parted ways with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) over disagreements on some issues.

On Tuesday, the federal government formally recognized CONUA as Chris Ngige, the minister of labor and employment, presented a certificate of registration to the union in Abuja.

Many believe the registration of CONUA was to shrink the influence of ASUU amid its lingering strike and the move has since sparked heated reactions from stakeholders in the education sector.

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