Law Officers Association of Nigeria, [LOAN], Sokoto chapter has commenced an indefinite strike to press home their demands for payment of outstanding allowances, better working conditions and human capacity building, among other things.
The strike, the first in the history of Sokoto State Ministry of Justice, paralyzed activities in the state High Courts and Magistracies.
A close source who chooses to remain anonymous, disclosed to The Loyal Nigerian Lawyer, that the decision was reached to embark on the strike on Tuesday after attempts at amicable resolution had failed.
He explained that for more than two years, the association has tabled its grievances to the Sokoto Government without positive outcomes.
“The Sokoto law officers have been highly marginalised, their welfare has been relegated to the background.”
“We have given ultimatums and then later shelved them. In the past two years no Robe allowances were paid to State Counsels while their colleagues working at judiciary were duly paid.”
” A state counsel has to go to business centres to typeset the court processes of cases he was assigned, this is done at his own expense, no one would reimburse him. There are only two computers in the ministry and not one is functioning”
“It’s the duty of a counsel to bear the transport costs of witnesses from their basic salaries with no efforf at reimbursement. Some other allowances are willfully withheld”
He lamented the poor facilities available to the state counsels:
“No functioning convenience [restrooms] at the ministry, lawyers have to go home [if closeby] or use the ones in other ministries”
” A lot of lawyers in the ministry have no offices, forcing them to work in the conference hall. The grossly inadequate welfare provision and motivation from the ministry is affecting the morale of the counsels”
“We are forced today to take a decision we did not want to take.” He said.
Coincidentally, the principal officers of the state’s NBA are law officers working in the Ministry of Justice.
Efforts by The Loyal Nigerian Lawyer to reach the state’ s spokesperson for official comments have proved abortive
Considering the fact that the Governor of the state, Alh. Aminu Tambuwal, is a lawyer, we anticipate a just and fair treatment for the learned colleagues