OrderPaperToday – The House of Representatives through its Committee on Judiciary has pleaded with the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to jettison its planned nationwide strike over financial autonomy for state judiciary, billed to start on Tuesday 6th April 2021.

Chairman, House Committee on Judiciary, Mr. Luke Onofiok, revealed that the House of Representatives is engaging both the federal and state governments in order to resolve the issues raised by the judicial workers.

He therefore urged JUSUN to stand down on its proposed strike pending the outcome of the House engagement.

Mr. Luke further revealed that “the House of Representatives under the speakership of Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila takes the concerns involving the judiciary seriously and the House through its Committee has constantly canvassed for the financial autonomy, better welfare and conditions of service for both judicial officers and judiciary staff.

“This is because the committee understands that financial independence is synonymous with an independent judiciary that can execute justice and adjudicate over the interests of citizens and residents without fear or favour.”

The lawmaker, who represents Etinan federal constituency in Akwa Ibom state, noted that “ while the cause of the Union is desirable, it may at the moment expose litigants to untold hardship and limit their access to justice. It is in this vein that the Committee calls on the Union to stand down on its proposed strike action while we engage with the governments both at the federal and state levels towards resolving the outstanding issues.”

This sentiment was further re-echoed by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President, Olumide Akpata, who said the planned strike by the judiciary staff may have “devastating” effect on the administration of justice in the country.

JUSUN is protesting over the failure of state government to implement financial autonomy for the judiciary as stipulated by the constitution and reaffirmed by Presidential Order 10.

This comes as State Houses of Assembly commit to passing the Financial Autonomy Act for state Legislatures and Judiciary.

Recall that the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria are currently on a nationwide strike over non-implementation of the Financial Autonomy Act for state Legislature and Judiciary and the National Association of Resident Doctors are also on a nationwide strike in lieu of unpaid salaries, hazard and covid-19 allowances.

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