Law News
FG blames governors for lingering judiciary workers’ strike
The Federal Government on Monday blamed the 36 state governors for the lingering nationwide strike of judiciary workers.
The strike by the workers under the aegis of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria has paralysed courts at all levels since it started on January 5.
‎A statement by the Director  (Information), Federal Ministry of Justice, Charles Nwodo, said the the Federal Government had in no way contributed to the strike which entered its second week on Monday.
JUSUN had embarked on the ongoing nationwide strike following the failure of the Accountant General of the Federation, Mr. Jonah Otunla, to honour an agreement stipulating that the implementation of the financial autonomy status of state judiciary would begin in December 2014.
The Memorandum of Understanding was signed by stakeholders including the Accountant General of the Federation and some JUSUN officials on November 27, 2014.
The MoU directed a prompt compliance with the judgment delivered by  a Federal High Court in Abuja‎ on January 13, 2014, ordering the Accountant General of the Federation to deduct funds standing to the credit of judiciary in the Federation Account and disburse them to the various heads of court.
Nwodo said in his statement on Monday that the Federal Government was not in breach of the judgment which was delivered by Justice Adeniyi Ademola of the Federal High Court in Abuja.
He added that workers of federal courts were only on solidarity strike with their state counterparts due to failure of state governments to comply with the judgment.
The statement read in part, ‎”That the Federal Government is not in breach or violation  of the aforementioned judgment of the Federal High  Court. This much has been publicly acknowledged by  JUSUN in all their statements and deliberations;
“Th‎at the strike is actually directed at state governments that are yet to comply with the Judgment;
“That federal courts are thus only on sympathy strike with  their state counterparts.
“‎The foregoing notwithstanding, the Supervising Minister of Labour and Productivity, Kabir Turaki, has been working assiduously with relevant stakeholders to resolve all the challenges that may have militated against the implementation of the judgment of the court.
“‎The Federal Government acknowledges the imperative of an efficient and effective judiciary to our democratic consolidation and is doing all that is within its constitutional powers to ensure full implementation of the judgment.
“We therefore call on all well-meaning Nigerians to appreciate the dynamics of the federal structure that Nigeria operates and the constitutional limits of the federal government when dealing with the States especially with respect to matters within their constitutional mandates.”
He added that the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation was worried about the strike.
He reiterated that the judgment by the court had ordered the funding of the judiciary to be in compliance with the provisions of sections 81(3), 121 (3) and 162 (9) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
The statement read, “The Office of the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice notes with concern the on-going strike embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to press for the implementation of the Judgment of the Federal High Court, Abuja delivered on 13th January 2014 (Coram, A.F.A. Ademola ) in suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/667/13.
“The Federal Government reiterated that ‎the judgment delivered by Justice Adeniyi Ademola in the suit with number, FHC/ABJ/CS/667/13, ordered that the amount standing to the credit of the States’ judiciary in the Federation/Consolidated Revenue Fund be paid directly to the Heads of Courts in the various States’ judiciary in compliance with the provisions of sections 81(3), 121 (3) and 162 (9) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
“This strike is unfortunate and has paralysed the activities of the judiciary throughout the federation. The Honourable Attorney General of the Federation is however constrained to issue this statement in view of the misconceptions and insinuations in the print and electronic media concerning the strike and the efforts being made to address the implementation challenges posed by the judgment.”
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