By Gbenga Olarinoye
Action Congress, AC, in Osun State has advised the state branch of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, not to allow themselves to be used to unduly prolong the work of the Election Petition Retrial panel sitting over the petition of Engr Rauf Aregbesola against the declaration of Olagunsoye Oyinlola as the winner of the 14 April 2007 gubernatorial election in Osun State.
The advice was contained in a statement yesterday by the AC’s Director of Research and Strategy, Mr Sunday Akere against alleged plan by the JUSUN to resume its suspended strike over demand for improved working condition.
It would be recalled that JUSUN put on hold its strike so that the tribunal will be forced to adjourn as was the case between November and December, 2009.
It was learnt that Osun State JUSUN, is contemplating resuming the strike it earlier suspended due to the failure of the Oyinlola-led PDP administration to live up to the expected payment of the demanded salary; and as a result of alleged infiltration of its local executive by the government through financial inducement in a bid to help them prolong the tribunal sitting.
…says it is not against strike
The partyâ€™s statement said, â€œWe once again restate our stand that we are not against the demand of JUSUN which is a right, even as we still appeal passionately with them to go about their demand in the most decent, orderly and civilized manner that will notÂ affect the sitting of the tribunal and thus frustrate the judges and stretch the patience of Osun peopleâ€.
â€œA letter of protest was sent by our party to the national secretariat of JUSUN on 24 November 2009 in which we pointed out the fact that the building, i.e. the venue of the sitting of the retrial tribunal was specifically built and commissioned by the state government for Election Petition purposes only. We also pointed out that the building though situated within the premises ofÂ the State High Court does not belong to the Osun State judiciary neither does it have anything to do with the state judiciary normal court business. To crown our position, we pointed out that no member of staff of the Osun State judiciary works with the tribunal”.
â€œThe national secretariat of JUSUN agreed with our position and instructed the local JUSUN to â€œensure access of the officials of the Election Petition Tribunal to the court to complete their assignment unhindered by JUSUN members in Osun Stateâ€. JUSUN also premised its decision on its realisation â€œthat the role of the tribunal is to further the rule of law, good governance and enhance democratic principles in Nigeria for the good of all,â€ the statement added.