8 Jan 2015

Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) backs Judiciary workers’ strike

This was the position of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has thrown its weight behind the ongoing strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) which it added, is an outcome of government’s disregard for a judicial pronouncement by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Noting that an independent judiciary remains a crucial part of the nation’s democracy, the labour organ said its direct funding is a constitutional right which has been further strengthened by a judicial pronouncement.

The NLC, in a statement signed by its General Secretary, Dr. Peter Ozo-Esan, also blamed the office of the Accountant- General of the Federation (AGF), state governments and other appropriate government agencies for the broken chain of promises which culminated in the strike action by the union.

The NLC recalled that about a year ago, a Federal High Court in Abuja had entered a judgment in favour of the union directing the AGF to deduct judicial funds and pay it directly to the National Judicial Council (NJC), a move intended to guarantee the independence of the judiciary, thus strengthening the democratic process.
“Since the judgment, as many as seven Memoranda of Understanding with government (arising from countless meetings) have been signed. In spite of serial breaches by government and its agencies, JUSUN had continually displayed remarkable understanding and uncommon maturity,” the NLC said.
It called on the Attorney-General of the Federation and all the Attorneys-General of the states to respect the judgment, and ensure an end to the strike.
“It is saddening that these law officers are seen to be breaking the law in such a brazen manner and at a time like this. Financial autonomy for the judiciary is non-negotiable,” the statement added.
Credit: Damilola Oyedele/ThisDay

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