Ihuoma Chiedozie, Enugu

The Enugu State Government on Wednesday condemned the strike action embarked upon by the state chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria.

The judiciary workers downed tools to press home their demand for the implementation of an Abuja Federal High Court judgment, which ordered the federal and state governments to comply with constitutional provisions on the independence and financial autonomy of the judiciary.

Our correspondent observed that the gate at the entrance of the state high court complex was under lock on Wednesday, and workers stayed away.

As a result, scheduled cases could not be heard.

However, the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Enugu State, Anthony Ani, SAN, described the industrial action as “mischievous and uncalled for.”
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Ani said the strike “must have been deliberately designed to embarrass the state government as it neither owed workers nor was withholding any funds due to the judiciary in the state”.

According to the Attorney-General, the state government had already accepted the judgment of the Abuja FHC, which he said was in line with the State Judiciary Self Accounting Laws being implemented in the state since 1991.

Ani argued that JUSUN flouted the agreement reached with the state government by failing to nominate a bank, and furnishing a bank account, where the fund would be paid into by the state’s accountant-general, after it had been separated from the consolidated account.

According to him, various arrangements made for JUSUN to meet the accountant-general to work out modalities to enhance bulk payment proved abortive as the union did not comply with such arrangements.

Describing the union’s decision to lock the gate of the state high court complex as embarrassing and condemnable, the Attorney-General lamented that the judicial workers took the action without seeking the advice of the monitoring committee set up on its own to ensure the full implementation of the agreement reached with the state government

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