The Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Bar Association, (“NBA”) Benin Branch, Mr. Ogaga Emoghwanre embarked on a fact finding mission to the Chairman and Secretary of the Edo State Chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (“EDO JUSUN”) to unravel the stance of EDO JUSUN on the ongoing strike embarked upon by their national body which should ordinarily trickle down to all the state chapters.
The Publicity Hub of the NBA BENIN BRANCH conducted a telephone interview with the Chairman EDO JUSUN, Comrade Uyi Ogierhiakhi and the Secretary, Comrade Richie Aipoh, where they succinctly revealed their stance with respect to the ongoing strike, for the financial autonomy of the Judiciary.
The Chairman stated that EDO JUSUN Executive members (“Excos”) are in solidarity as it is traditional, with the National body to enforce the strike as declared by the National body on the 6th of April, 2021. In furtherance of that, they had placed the High Court complex under lock and key in line with the National directive.
Unfortunately, there was a twist as their members in a “commando style” broke the locks on the gate, as majority of them, if not all were ready for work.
The staff of Edo State Judiciary who make up EDO JUSUN proved defiant to the stance of the National body and the EDO JUSUN Excos. They went ahead to break the locks used in sealing off the High Court complex.
The staff are of the argument that they are yet to recover from the same strike they embarked upon in 2015 wherein the Edo State Government led by former governor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole enforced the “no work no pay” rule leading to unpaid salaries of 7 months till date.
They are weary of going on the same ‘solidarity trek’ with the National body without any form of protection or assurance of desired result from the National body.
Therefore, while the EDO JUSUN Excos are compliant and in full solidarity with the National Body in the industrial action necessitated to the implementation of the financial autonomy for State Judiciary as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, its members and staff base have upon the reasons aforementioned, remained defiant and have resumed work in full gear.
In view of the above, lawyers and litigants alike in Edo State can go about their litigation businesses as the High Courts shall be opened from the 12th of April, 2021, resuming from its Easter vacation. All other state courts have since resumed sitting. The Magistrates’ Court for example resumed sitting since the 6th of April,2021 having equally resumed from their Easter vacation.
May I use this opportunity, once again to wish our members a happy Easter, whilst thanking “EDO JUSUN EXCOs” for their steadfastness and diligence in ensuring smooth judicial business coupled with their resolve to ensure the Independence of the Judiciary in in Nigeria.
Publicity Secretary, NBA Benin Branch