By Henry Ojelu
The Lagos Chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, is currently considering a plan to partially called off the strike embarked on April 6, 2021, to demand autonomy of the judiciary.
Vanguard findings revealed that JUSUN, Lagos chapter has concluded arrangement to write the national body of the association requesting permission to partially resume work.
The reason behind the move according to multiple sources is hinged on the ground that Lagos State Judiciary has been enjoying a greater level of financial autonomy compared to other states of the federation.
Chairman of JUSUN Lagos, Asiwaju Shobowale Kehinde confirmed the move to our correspondent but said the proposal is subject to final approval by JUSUN National Secretariat in Abuja.
” Yes, I can confirm to you that we are making effort to partially resume work. We have had series of meetings with stakeholders in the state and it is our belief that it is in the best interest to partially open the court. We shall communicate with our national body and seek approval. So everything depends on what our national body says,” he said.
Vanguard was also privy to sight a memo by Shobowale Kehinde on the matter.
Part of the l memo read; “We had many interactions on the strike situations with fellow State chairmen especially from South-West, South-East and South-South.
“Lagos JUSUN found out that it is only Lagos State Government that had show concerns and seriousness with a listening ear to this JUSUN struggle.
“At this moment, Lagos JUSUN have had four meetings with powerful Government official especially Mr Governor himself.
“From my position and privileges as JUSUN chairman Lagos, We are indeed lucky. Even the National leadership hasn’t made significant progress as Lagos JUSUN does at the moment.
“Our axillary demands are been speedily looked into and results are manifesting. Though there is a national agitation for financial autonomy, this will be achieved nationally and all-state will benefit from it.
“Our Union had the best assurances directly from Mr Governor and the Chief Judge of Lagos State on improving welfare allowances for staff which had eluded us since 2014.
“While showing commitment today (April 20) with the delivery of two new buses to Judiciary while House of Assembly had only one bus given to them even though both arms of Government were currently on strike.
“Its impossible that a state branch will suspend a National Strike hence JUSUN strike is very much ongoing in Lagos state.
“But Due to the great respect and honour Lagos State judiciary staff have for Mr Governor and the Chief Judge of Lagos state, it’s our desire only to relaxed strike rules to allow clearance of backlogs, reading of judgement and decongestion of prison occasion by the covid pandemic and EndSARS protest.
“Therefore work and official duties are constraint to Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of every week, while Monday and Tuesday of every week remain our strike days that all staff must stay off duty to observe the national strike.
“The Union will review the progress both left and right to make informed decisions as the event unfolds.
“Pls let it be known that the Staff of Lagos state judiciary is still on strike but was magnanimous in putting Lagos Judiciary and the Government of Lagos state first in our time of strength.
“All gates of courts in Lagos state will be partially open on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday Only.”
When confronted with the content of the memo, Mr Shobowale told our correspondent that it was just an internal communication that is subject to the approval of the JUSUN National body.