Judicial activities in Akwa Ibom state were wiped out following an indefinite strike by members of the Nigerian Judicial Staff Union, JUSUN, on Tuesday.
Recall that the national leadership of JUSUN, in a circular dated April 1, ordered the closure of several courts across the country from Tuesday April 1.
The circular signed by JUSUN General Secretary IM Adetola ordered all states and union zone leaders to comply with the strike.
The union said it had, at its last national executive meeting on March 13, 2021 in Abuja, issued a 21-day ultimatum to the government to implement the financial autonomy of the judiciary with the threat of resuming the national strike suspended.
“Therefore, due to the public holiday of April 5, 2021, the strike has been postponed to Tuesday April 6, 2021. You are urged to close the courts / departments of your states until further notice from the JUSUN National Secretariat in Abuja” , reads part of the circular.
Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom State Chief Justice Judge Godwin Abraham as well as other state staff and lawyers who have been learned have been told have not been told. were allowed to enter the judicial premises in Uyo, the state capital.
During our correspondent’s visit, the judicial complex was under lock and key, even as heavily built men suspected of being members of JUSUN kept the doors in the early hours of the day and did not allow anyone to enter.
Members stationed at the gate were seen with placards while placards were also stuck on the gate with various inscriptions such as “on financial self-reliance, we stand”.
The chief justice, it was learned, came to his office but was stopped by the men at the door and he ‘quietly and peacefully’ left the scene without resistance ”
When our correspondent went to the state high court, Fulga Street Uyo, the same was reproduced as the entrance was locked and no one was in sight.
However, when JUSUN, Akwa Ibom State President Comrade Oku Umoh was contacted, he said the state union should follow the guidelines of the national body.
He said the national council has the supreme power to call off the strike because states cannot negotiate with governors.
Regarding the strike’s implication on the dispensation of justice, Umoh said: “It’s unfortunate, the implication is that all the judicial activities have been founded and there is nothing we can do because the directive for the strike is national and we will fully comply with that.
“We are aware that court processes and judicial activities, including affiliated institutions like police and corrections, have been stalled, but as it stands, we cannot do anything until the national did not say otherwise.
“We hope that soon our demands will be met and the strike canceled.” Umoh added