Law News
Imo Law Officers protest, begin indefinite strike over unpaid salaries

Vehicular traffic along some major streets of Owerri, Imo State capital, was yesterday held up for several hours, following the peaceful protest of members of the state branch of Law Officers Association of Nigeria, over their unpaid salaries. According to a letter dated December 13, 2015, addressed to Governor Rochas Okorocha and signed by the Chairman and Secretary, Mr. P. C. Nwanyanwu and Mr. Kelechi Ejiofor respectively, said they shall keep away from all their official duties and offices pending when all their salaries and allowances shall be paid in full.

The lawyers also said that they would not return to their offices until all their directors suspended without salaries were recalled unconditionally. Their other demands included restoration. Of means of funding government cases, provision of adequate security to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution, four years arrears of the annual practicing fees of the Law Officers, as well as the arrears of the annual Bar Conference Fees and Duty Tour Allowance for the past four years.

On the protest march, the lawyers said they were constrained to demonstrate over their unpaid salaries and suspension of seven directors. “It is quite unfortunate that your Law Officers in the Ministry of Justice are today (yesterday) compelled to demonstrate on the streets of Owerri, for non-payment of eight months salary arrears and for unlawful suspension of seven legal directors for undisclosed reasons”, the lawyers stated.

While saying that this was the first time in the history of the state that LawOfficers were subjected to such unwarranted conditions, the aggrieved lawyers also lamented that their previous representations and appeals were rebuffed by the Governor.

They recalled that at a meeting on November 18, 2015, in Government House, which the State Chief Judge, retired chief judges, magistrates, Head of Service and other stakeholders, the Governor threatened to sack all Law Officers.

“No wonder, on the following day, November 19, 2015, you (Governor) commenced your actions by issuing suspension orders on all our directors. Truly, this is quite unjust”, the lawyers told Okorocha. They reminded the Gvernor that they have tried beyond human endurance to keep themselves on duty till date, stressing that “Imo is the only state in Nigeria where no legal director is entitled to an official bicycle”.

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