Nigeria's striking lecturers appeal ruling ordering them back to work

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ABUJA (Reuters) - Lecturers from Nigerian public universities who have been striking since February appealed a court ruling ordering them to suspend their action, which has kept students away from class for the past seven months.

ASUU lawyer Femi Falana filed papers at the Court of Appeal in Abuja on Friday seeking to set aside the judgment by the National Industrial Court, which had ruled on Wednesday the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) should end the strike.

A hearing will be held at a later date.

Lecturers from public universities, used by the majority of students in Africa's most populous country, routinely strike for better pay.

ASUU is demanding an increase in pay and allowances and better funding for the country's education sector. The government wants lecturers to go back to work while negotiations continue.

Cracks have appeared within ASUU, however, with medical lecturers applying to the labour ministry to register a separate trade union and return to work.

(Reporting by Camillus Eboh; Editing by MacDonald Dzirutwe and Frances Kerry)