The Federal Government is set to meet striking judicial workers over the lingering crisis in the sector; even as the leadership of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has declared that the seven-day-old strike will continue until their demands are met.
This follows a declaration by the union that the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ibrahim Tanko Mohammad, who met with them earlier to call off the strike cannot give what he does not have, therefore, he cannot meet their demands.
The Monday meeting between the government and JUSUN was called at the instance of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and scheduled to commence by 2 pm.
JUSUN commenced a nationwide strike on Tuesday, April 6, when the union directed all its members across the federation to shut down all courts after the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum earlier given over the failure of the government to implement the financial autonomy of the judiciary.
The union is demanding financial autonomy of the judiciary, especially at the state level where the governors have deliberately denied the judiciary access to their fund in gross disregard to Section 121 subsection 3 of the 1999 Constitution.
“Our struggle, and what we are fighting for, the implementation of financial autonomy of the judiciary is in line with the constitution and other extant laws,” President of JUSUN, Marwan Mustapha had said.
The National Treasurer of JUSUN, Comrade Jimoh Musa Alonge, who represented Comrade Marwan during a meeting between JUSUN leadership and the CJN, said Justice Tanko Mohammad identifies with the union and believes that their demands are legitimate and constitutional.
But he pointed out that the CJN was not in a position to meet their demands, as what the union was demanding is not in his hands to give.
Comrade Alonge said as a father would do, the CJN begged them to explore another way to resolve the crisis and call off the strike.
He said: “We met with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, after explanation, he reasoned with us and he was satisfied with our demands. It’s our right, it worths fighting for but he appealed in the interest of the country as a father would do for us to find a better way of resolving this matter by soft landing.
“But as we rightly know, what we are demanding for is not in the hands of Chief Justice of Nigeria to give. So, you cannot give what you don’t have but he has appealed to us and we have promised him we are going to call our NEC meeting to discuss his appeal to them, and whatever comes out, we would let him know.
“But for now, the strike is on and will continue until our demands are met.”