[UPDATED] Judicial Autonomy: JUSUN Suspends Strike


The courts across the states of the federation will be re-opened with immediate effect and all judicial activities begin as the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) announced the suspension of its three-month-old national strike Wednesday evening.

The decision was taken by the National Executive Council, NEC, of the Union at its emergency meeting on Wednesday, June 9, 2021.

The suspension shall take effect from Monday 14th June, 2021 and all Judiciary workers are expected to resume office that day.

The suspension of the strike, which has paralyzed court activities nationwide since Tuesday, April 6, was announced after the meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union, held in Abuja.

However, in suspending the strike, the union called on the National Judicial Council (NJC), the Presidential Implementation Committee, Attorney General of the Federation, Accountant-General of the Federation and all stakeholders to see that the issue of Judiciary Financial Autonomy is finally laid to rest as provided for in Section 81 (3), 121 (3), and 162(9), of 1999 Constitution as amended.

JUSUN pointed out expressly that it suspended the strike due to the intervention of NJC, other stakeholders and in consideration of many issues.

“NEC-in-session discussed extensively and after putting so many issues into consideration i.e. the intervention of NJC and other stakeholders, the NEC has resolved that the strike is hereby suspended.” A communique issued at the end of JUSUN NEC meeting said.

The communique signed by the Deputy President, Comrade Emmanuel Abioye and the General Secretary, Comrade Isaiah Adetola commended the Chief Justice of the Federation and all heads of Courts for their patience and understanding throughout the period of the industrial action.

It also commended the effort of the NJC in making sure that the governors obey the Memorandum of Action (MoA), Judgment and agreement on the Financial Autonomy of the Judiciary.

It said: “NEC-in-session commends the NWC/NEC and all JUSUN members for all their sacrifice, understanding and patience.”

The NEC-in-session condemned the actions of the governors of Kaduna, Plateau and Benue States for withholding salaries of Judiciary in their various states for months and urge all governors involved to do the needful.

The communique read: “NEC-in-session agreed that there shall be the introduction of peculiar allowance throughout the State and Federal Courts.

“NEC-in-session frowns at the deduction of salary of JUSUN members of Bayelsa State and request that the deducted sum be restored forthwith.

“NEC- in- session unanimously reiterates that no member of JUSUN should be victimized on strike action.”

The National Judicial Council (NJC) had, at a meeting with JUSUN leaders on Tuesday, with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Ibrahim Muhammad in attendance, urged the striking court workers to put an end to the industrial action in the interest of the country and the suffering court users.

Recall that JUSUN had embarked on an indefinite strike which led to the closure of Courts since April 6, 2021.

JUSUN is demanding amongst other things, financial autonomy for the judiciary in the light of Sections 81 and 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and decisions of Federal High Courts to the effect that all funds due to the judiciary from the Consolidated Revenue Fund shall be paid directly to the Heads of the Courts concerned.

A subsequent Executive Order was issued by His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari “Implementation of financial Autonomy of States Legislature and State Judiciary” on 20th May 2020, yet some State Governors have failed to implement this fundamental provision of the Law.

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