The Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, on Wednesday blamed the ongoing strike action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, on the serial breaches of collective agreements by
The Secretary General of the Congress, Peter Ozo-Eson, said
the government is in the habit of disregarding Judicial pronouncements by a court of competent jurisdiction, particularly concerning workers’ interests.
Mr. Ozo-Eson blamed the crisis on a chain of broken promises by the office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, AGF, State Governments and other government agencies.
According to the Congress, a year ago, a court had in its judgment directed the AGF to pay the National Judicial Council, NJC
, as part of efforts to strengthen democracy by directly funding the Judiciary through statutory allocations.
To guarantee the development of the country’s democracy, Mr. Ozo-Esan said the autonomy and independent of the Judiciary was non-negotiable.
He noted that since the judgment, no fewer than seven memoranda of understanding between JUSUN and government were signed after equal number of negotiations and agreements.
The NLC said in spite of serial breaches by government and its agencies, JUSUN had demonstrated understanding and maturity by restraining itself from call out their members to protest the continued refusal of government to act.
Considering that direct funding of the Judiciary was a constitutional right further strengthened by a Judicial pronouncement, Mr. Ozo-Eson called on the Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, and all the Attorneys-General of the States to respect the judgment, which was in favour of the JUSUN.
“It is saddening that these law officers are seen to be breaking the law in such a brazen manner and at a time like this,” he said. “Financial autonomy for the Judiciary is non-negotiable.”