The House of Representatives’ Committee on Judiciary has urged members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria not to embark on strike, saying it will intervene in the crisis between the government and the workers.
Chairman of the committee, Onofiok Luke, made the plea in a statement issued on Monday night, as the industrial action is scheduled to begin on Tuesday.
The statement read, “The attention of the Federal Judiciary Committee, House of Representatives, Nigeria, has been drawn to the planned nationwide strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) on the failure of governments to implement the financial autonomy of Judiciary.
“While we understand and share the concerns of the Union on financial autonomy, we however appeal to them to momentarily shelve the planned strike and give the Committee time to engage governments towards resolving the issue.
“It is of note 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 committee notes 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.”
JUSUN had on Thursday declared an indefinite nationwide strike over its demand for financial autonomy for the judiciary.
The union had at its national executive meeting in Abuja on March 13, 2021, issued a 21-day ultimatum to the government.
In a circular dated April 1, 2021, the union had told its members to shut down courts across the country from Tuesday, April 6.
The circular issued by the General Secretary of JUSUN, Isaiah Adetola, partly read, “Therefore, as a result of the public holiday on April 5, 2021, the strike action has been postponed to Tuesday, April 6, 2021. You are directed to shut down courts/departments in your states until further notice from the National Secretariat of JUSUN in Abuja.