NBA Kicks As Judiciary Workers Embark On Strike

The Nigerian Bar Association has faulted the proposed strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria scheduled to start on Monday (today), describing it as untimely because of its ‘potentially devastating consequences.’

The organisation expressed worry that despite the provisions of the 1999 constitution which confer autonomy on the Judiciary, the executive arm of the government had customarily refused to comply with the provisions targeted at safeguarding the independence of the judiciary.

The President of the NBA, Olumide Akpata, said these in a statement on Monday titled, ‘Proposed strike action by JUSUN over financial autonomy for Judiciary.’

He said, “As commendable and laudable as the proposed strike action may be, the NBA is concerned about its timing and the potentially devastating consequences it would pose for justice administration in the country, particularly coming on the heels of prolonged lull in judicial activities owing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the enforced lockdowns.

“Across the country, the courts are trying to play catch-up for lost time, and it would be catastrophic for the administration of justice for the Courts to be shut again. This is not to mention the adverse economic consequences for families and lawyers alike, who earn a living in one way or the other, by providing various support services to the Court system.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the NBA, as a leading stakeholder in the justice sector, and in keeping with its motto of promoting the rule of law is in support of the demands of JUSUN, and has been a constant voice of advocacy towards enthroning judicial autonomy. But the timing of an action is as good as the action itself.

“Against the backdrop of the above, the NBA has reached out to, and is discussing with JUSUN on the prospects of reconsidering the strike action at this time, and will provide updates as discussions progress.”

The NBA said it was aware of the judgment of the Federal High Court of January 13 2014 which confirmed the autonomy of the Judiciary in line with the spirit and letters of the constitution.

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