Financial Autonomy: Why we won’t suspend strike, JUSUN tells CJN

Executives of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, have again, met with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, to explain why they would not suspend the strike action they commenced on April 6 to demand for the implementation of financial autonomy for the Judiciary.

A statement signed by media aide to the CJN, Mr. Ahuraka Isah, disclosed that the meeting held on Wednesday.

Isah said the essence of the meeting was for JUSUN leaders to give feedback to the CJN on his recent demand on the union to call-off the ongoing strike that has paralysed judicial activities across the federation.

According to the statement, among those that attended the meeting held at the CJN’s chambers, included the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hadjia Hadiza Uwani Mustapha.

The CJN had at an earlier meeting he held with JUSUN leaders on April 6, urged the union to suspend the strike in view of its adverse effect on the justice system in the country.

At the meeting, JUSUN officials, led by its Deputy National President, Emmanuel Abioye and Jimoh Musa Alonge (Treasurer), explained why the union found it difficult to heed the CJN’s demand to call off the strike.

Abiyoye told the CJN that state governors must begin to demonstrate some level of seriousness by putting in place some measures precedent to the implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary in their respective states.

‘’Though there’s financial autonomy for the judiciary already in some states while some are assuring that they would comply, but others have to take steps in readiness for compliance,” Abioye stated.

Meanwhile, in his remarks, the CJN said it had become difficult to fault the idea of the strike since rights of the union and its members, which he said were clearly defined in the Constitution, were being denied, especially at state level.

“I can’t fault your reasons for embarking on this protest because the union wants its rights restored in line with the provisions of the Constitution.

“I commend you for following due process so far to protest against the injustice,” the CJN added.

Meanwhile, protesting members of JUSUN, and the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA, in Osun and Oyo states, yesterday, blocked the convoy of Osun State Deputy Governor, Mr. Benedict Alabi.

Similarly, the aggrieved workers staged the mother-of-all protests in Ibadan, Oyo State, to demand financial autonomy for the legislative and judicial arms of government.

This came as JUSUN workers in Lagos State, considered a plan to partially call off the strike embarked on April 6, 2021 to demand autonomy of the judiciary.

Deputy gov’s convoy blocked

Members of the two unions had commenced the peaceful protest at the State High Court, Oke-Fia and march to Customary Court through to Federal High Court opposite Osun State House of Assembly along Osogbo/Gbongan road.

At about 11:20am, while members of the two unions were marching to the Osun State Government Secretariat, the convoy of the Deputy Governor ran into the protesters before the secretariat.

Rather than give way to the deputy governor’s convoy, the protesters insisted that the convoy moved behind them

JUSUN Chairman in Osun State, Mr. Gbenga Eludire, said the union, in collaboration with NBA, was at the secretariat to deliver the message of its National Secretariat on the necessity to implement financial autonomy for the judicial arm of government.

Eludire said: “We are here to convey the message of JUSUN’s National Secretariat on the need for the implementation of financial autonomy because it is the only way for Nigeria to progress.

‘’The three arms ought to be independent and complementary but reverse is the case here and it is a pity that citizens had to be forcing state government, which is suppose to ordinarily defend the constitution, to enforce constitutional provision.

“We are determined that until the government does the needful, we will not call off the strike action.”