Ibrahim-Tanko-Muhammad

CJN Justifies Judiciary Workers’ Strike

Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Ibrahim Muhammad has argued that the decision by court workers nationwide to insist on strike to press for financial autonomy for the Judiciary was justified.

“I can’t fault your reasons for embarking on this protest because the union wants its rights restored in line with the provisions of the Constitution.

“I commend you for following due process so far to protest against the injustice,’’ the CJN was quoted as saying after a meeting on Wednesday with leaders of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) in his office in Abuja.

His media aide Ahuraka Yusuf Isah, in a statement on Thursday, said Justice Muhammad spoke after hearing from some leaders of JUSUN, who explained why they would sustain the strike until state governments take concrete steps on the issue.

Part of the statement reads: “The national officials of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) met with the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) on Wednesday ostensibly to give him a feedback on his recent demand on the union to call-off the ongoing strike.

“The Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Hadjia Hadiza Uwani Mustapha, also attended the meeting held in the CJN chambers at the Supreme Court.

“The CJN had, at an earlier meeting with JUSUN leaders on April 6, asked the union to call-off the strike in view of its adverse effect on the justice system in the country.

“But at the meeting of Wednesday, the JUSUN officials, led by its Deputy National President, Emmanuel Abioye and Jimoh Musa Alonge (Treasurer) explained why the union found it difficult to heed the CJN’s demand to call off the strike.

“Abioye told the CJN that the state governors must begin to demonstrate some level of seriousness by putting in place some measures precedent to the implementation of financial autonomy for judiciary in their respective states.

Abioye said: “Though there’s financial autonomy for the judiciary already in some states while some are assuring that they would comply, but others have to take steps in readiness for compliance.”

According to Abioye, the union expects each state to start implementing its self-accounting law to deal with the Internally Generated Revenue in line with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution as amended; and that states without such law should put it in place.

However, the CJN said it has become difficult to fault the idea of the strike since the rights of the union and its members, which are clearly defined in the Constitution, are being denied, especially at state level.

“I can’t fault your reasons for embarking on this protest because the union wants its rights restored in line with the provisions of the Constitution. I commend you for following due process so far to protest against the injustice,” the CJN said.

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