September 22, (THEWILL) – A final year law student of Benue State University, Makurdi, Soohemba Agatha Aker, has asked the Federal High Court, Abuja, to stop the salaries and allowances of President Mohammadu Buhari, the 36 state governors, and all political office holders in the country, pending the immediate resolution and end of the strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The applicant is also seeking similar order against the Chief of Staff to the President, Secretary to the Government, all senators and members of the House of Representative, all ministers, all the permanent secretaries, all heads of parastatals & extra ministerial bodies of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, all the vice-chancellors and the members of the senate of striking universities, as well as the salaries and allowance of said striking Universities and all the members of the ASUU.
In the fundamental right enforcement suit marked FHC/ABJ/CS/1684/2022, the applicant, who said she is currently affected by the ongoing strike, filed the action for herself on behalf of all students of public tertiary institutions currently affected by the nationwide ASUU strike.
In the suit filed by her counsel, Chukwuma-Machukwu Ume (SAN), the applicant listed the respondents to include the Federal Government of Nigeria, Registered Trustees of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, President of the Senate, Speaker of the House of Representatives, and the Governor of Abia State (also sued in his own official capacity and in a representative capacity for all the other Governors of the Thirty-Five States of the Federation).
The others are Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC); Federation of Account Allocation Committee (FAAC); Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF); the Attorney General of Abia State (also sued in a representative capacity for all the other Hon Attorney-Generals of the Thirty-Five States of the Federation); the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the University of Abuja (also sued in a representative capacity for all the other Vice-Chancellors and the Members of the Senate of both Federal and State Universities currently participating in the ongoing ASUU Strike) and Umar Faruk (President, National Association of Nigerian Students, NANS).
The suit was filed pursuant to sections 46(1), (2) and (3) of the 1999 constitution and Article 17(1) of the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights (Ratification and Enforcement) Act Chapter A9 (Charter 10 LFN 1990) No. 2 of 1983.
The applicant is equally seeking an order of mandamus compelling the defendants including members of the Senate of the striking universities to return to the 1st Respondent their monthly salaries, allowances, and other benefits received individually or collectively from the day the industrial action of the 2nd Respondent commenced till date, pending the hearing and determination of the originating motion.
She further asked for an order of interlocutory injunction suspending the activities of the 6th and 7th Respondents (RMAFC and FAAC) including payment of the monthly allocation funds to the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 8th, 9th & 10th Respondents pending the hearing and determination of the Applicant’s Suit.
In a supporting affidavit, she deposed to the fact that the “ASUU strike has and continues to affect her adversely as her plans of graduating this academic year 2022 and to apply for admissions into the Nigerian Law School have been thwarted.
“That her tuition fees paid for this academic year will go in vain as the academic year is almost lost if nothing is done.”