By Ikechukwu Nnochiri
ABUJA–The Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Ibrahim Muhammad, has urged the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, to call off their ongoing strike action that has paralysed judicial activites across the federation for over one month.
The CJN made the call after the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, paid him a visit at his chambers at the Supreme Court on Tuesday.
JUSUN had on April 6, ordered its members across the federation to shut all courts in the country to press home their demand for implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary.
A statement that was made available to newsmen on Tuesday by Senior Special Assistant on Media to the CJN, Mr. Ahuraka Isah, disclosed that Ngige approached the Justice Muhammad to seek his intervention in the matter.
“Upon being briefed by the Minister on the negotiation level so far, the CJN then requested the JUSUN to call off the strike in the interest of the nation and the larger interest of justice.
“The CJN added that it would also allow opportunity for further negations towards the resolution of the dispute.
“Besides, the CJN observed that some of the issues in contention are already sub judice, as such there is need to give requisite legal process enough opportunity to be exhausted”, the statement added.
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.
However, following the failure of most state governors to comply with the order, JUSUN, embarked on the strike action to demand full financial autonomy for the judiciary.
The Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, equally threw its weight behind JUSUN’s action, even as lawyers staged peaceful protests across the federation.