Strike: NBA optimistic courts will re-open soon

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has expressed the optimism that the protracted strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) will be called off soon.

The News Agency of Nigeria NAN reports that JUSUN had, on April 6, embarked on an indefinite strike to press home its demand for implementation of full financial autonomy for the judiciary.

In a statement signed by its President, Mr Olumide Akpata, the NBA said that recent developments indicated that the strike would soon end.

It noted that the strike had taken its toll on NBA members and urged them to remain hopeful.

“The NBA leadership appreciates the sacrifices of its members and, once again, commends the efforts of its branches in standing firm, and putting pressure on state governments to obey the law in this regard.

“No doubt, the strike has taken its toll on our members whose activities revolve around the court system.

“As the strike enters its eighth week, I am happy to inform us that there is finally some light at the end of this tunnel.

“Following an all-stakeholders conciliation meeting held on Thursday, May 20, 2021, an action plan was agreed to by all the parties for immediate implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary, particularly in states,” it said.

The association listed the high points of the agreement to include state governors’ remittance to the judiciary in their respective states, the allocation due for the month of April 2021.

“JUSUN will suspend strike immediately upon receipt of the said allocation by the various state judiciaries.”

“In order to institutionalise this commitment, a fund management law detailing modalities for implementation of effective financial autonomy for the judiciary will be enacted by all states of the federation within 45 days from the date of agreeing to the action plan.

“In light of the foregoing and in the expectation that all the parties will continue to exhibit utmost bonafides, we can, with cautious optimism, anticipate that the strike will be suspended in a few days and all courts in the land will consequently be reopened,” it said.

The association praised its members for perseverance and sympathised with members of the public who had to bear the social and economic cost of the protracted strike in one way or the other.

“In these extremely perilous times, the hardship that this strike has occasioned for members of the public, as well as lawyers, can only be better imagined.”

“Posterity will remember us all for enduring this hardship in the interest of a worthy cause,” it said.

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