By Ikechukwu Nnochiri, ABUJA
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Tanko Muhammad, on Tuesday, urged the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, to call off their ongoing strike action.
JUSUN had ordered its members across the federation to shut all courts to press home their demand for implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary.
Consequently, members of the union locked out judges, lawyers, litigants and the general public on Tuesday, barring anyone from gaining access into all the courts within the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
Among courts that were shut down by the protesting workers included the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the National Industrial Court, as well as the Federal High Court.
Owing to the development, the CJN, met with some national and local officials of JUSUN in his Chambers at the Supreme Court.
A statement that was signed by the Special Assistant to the CJN on media and publicity strategy, Malam Ahuraka Isah, said the aim of the meeting was for the parties to explore solutions and ways to mitigate the impact of the strike action in the Judiciary.
Isah said the CJN urged the union to call off the strike, though he acknowledged the need for state governments to obey and implement Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, which made it mandatory for all states to include the allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets.
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“The unintended sufferers of this strike are better imagined than seen. It has spiral effects, including our children, the Federal Judiciary which is a lesser culprit.
“Ordinarily, I would say let me talk to individual 36 state governors, which amount to asking for their favours.
“But some of them would ask me to do ten favours in return.
“This is why as a judge I am prohibited from asking for a favour”, the CJN added.
On his part, the National Treasurer of JUSUN, Mr Jimoh Musa, who led the delegation on behalf of the National President of the union, Marwan Adamu, stressed that out of 19 members of the National Executive Council, NEC, of the association, only three of them were present at the meeting.
He disclosed that the President of the union, Adamu, had an accident on his way to attend the meeting with CJN.
“We have to table the CJN’s fatherly advice before our NEC meeting and consequently get back to his lordship,” Musa added.
It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had on May 22, 2020, signed into law an Executive Order that granted financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary across the 36 states of the federation.
The order equally mandated the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from source, any amount due to state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation to each state, for states that refuse to comply with the Executive Order.
Vanguard News Nigeria
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