Law News
Elections: NBA President, Chairmen Seek End To JUSUN Strike


The leadership of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) on Wednesday urged judiciary workers to call off their strike because of the forthcoming general elections.

“We must appreciate that these are very critical political times in our country.

“Various political parties are conducting their primaries, and the law court is the only avenue for individuals to ventilate their grievances; so, we cannot afford them to be shut down at this point.

“It will have a negative impact on the citizenry; on that grounds, we are appealing to JUSUN to call off its strike,” the President of the NBA, Mr Augustine Alegeh (SAN), said.

Alegeh spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos along with some NBA branch chairmen.

They appealed to the workers to use a better way to press home their demands.

The other lawyers are Messrs Alex Muoka, Yinka Farounbi and Dotun Adetunji, the Chairmen of the Lagos, Ikeja and Ikorodu branches of the NBA, respectively.

The NBA leaders said that the strike had also caused untold hardship on lawyers and litigants.

NAN reports that judiciary workers, under the aegis of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), embarked on a nationwide strike on Jan. 2.

JUSUN is seeking compliance with a judgment of a Federal High Court in Abuja, which granted financial autonomy to the judiciary.

Alegeh told NAN that although JUSUN had a good cause since there was a valid court judgment in its favour, the effect of the strike on the masses was enormous.

“We appreciate the position of JUSUN, but it is important to note that the defendants in the suit are not the only users of the courts; the courts are also accessible to members of the public.

“The court remains the last resort of the common man,” he said.

Alegeh urged the union to employ other workable means of securing compliance with judgment.

The Chairman of the Lagos branch of NBA, Mr Alex Muoka, described the strike as painful, saying that the strike had affected activities of lawyers in the country.


“We support the demands that JUSUN is making; it is left for the government to abide by the decision of the court on financial autonomy for the judiciary.


“We sympathise with JUSUN in this regard, and appeal to the authorities to meet the union’s demand.

“ It is particularly painful because the strike has affected our clients and our livelihood.


“JUSUN embarked on this strike last year, but called it off without its demands being met,” he said.


Muoka appealed to the government to comply with the court judgment in the interest of justice.


The NBA, Ikeja branch Chairman, Mr Yinka Farounbi, described the strike as unfortunate.


He told NAN that since there had been no formal appeal against the judgment, the executive of the government should abide by it.


“However, I want to urge JUSUN to confine its action within the law; if there has been non-compliance with the judgment, then, JUSUN should go back to court and initiate contempt proceedings against the necessary parties.


“The strike has affected even those who know nothing about the judgment; some accused persons waiting to perfect their bail terms have been affected by the situation,” he said.


Similarly, the Ikorodu branch Chairman of the NBA, Mr Dotun Adetunji, called on the Federal Government to accede to the demands of the union.


“Since this is a court judgment arising from a constitutional issue, which has not been appealed, it is necessary for the executive arm to abide by it.


“The strike has caused a lot of hardship on lawyers and litigants; it is in the best interest of the society for the issue to be resolved amicably,” he said.


Adetunji urged that strike should not be the only means by workers’ unions to press home their demands.

He advised that other avenues of enforcing court judgments should be explored.

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