By Ismail Auwal
The management of Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) purportedly delayed resumption of its Academic activities after members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), called off its eight months strike over the school’s financial woes.
ABU has found itself in serious financial straits following the National Industrial Court’s judgement that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) sweep up ABU’s accounts to pay N2.5 billion to 110 staff members of the institutions who were discharged in 1996.
The financial crisis has resulted in the university resorting to proceeds from tree felling to run administrative costs.
Daily Trust also reported that Northern Nigeria’s pioneer university and cannot afford basic toiletries.
The Northern Nigeria’s pioneer university had to turn to the income from cutting down trees to cover operating expenses due to the financial crisis and yet cannot afford basic toiletries, according to Daily Trust.
Additionally, court debt collectors went to the school and recorded all of the official vehicles for potential auction.
The Sole Administrator of ABU in 1996, General Mamman Kontagora terminated the appointment of 110 staff of the university.
The staff in 1996 challenged their unlawful termination and obtained a court order directing the university to reinstate them and pay them all outstanding salaries and allowances.
The failure of ABU to comply with the judgement forced the staff to institute a garnishee proceeding in which the CBN and three commercial banks were invited. In January 2022, an Abuja division of the National Industrial Court ordered the CBN to pay the staff their entitlements.
Counsel to the judgement creditors, Femi Falana (SAN) said the institution has the choice to seek settlement but has not made the move since 1996.
He said though the school is complaining of financial difficulty, the fundamental rights of the people who were illegally sacked is also important.
He noted that the garnishee order of the Court of Appeal is final being a labour-related dispute.