The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Anambra branch, has stated that the prolonged nationwide strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) is affecting the justice system.
Mr Kingsley Awuka, Chairman of the Committee of Chairmen of the eight branches of NBA in Anambra, made the assertion in a statement in Awka on Saturday.
The statement said that the decision of the Governors’ Forum to suspend discussion and engagement of JUSUN was uncharitable, unpatriotic and totally unacceptable.
Ripples Nigeria had reported that JUSUN began a nationwide indefinite strike on Monday, April 6, 2021 over the non-implementation of judicial financial autonomy as enshrined in the Constitution.
President Muhammadu Buhari had signed an Executive Order granting financial autonomy to the judiciary and State House of Assembly in May 2020, after several agitations.
However, the gazetting of the order was suspended after Buhari met with governors, who later expressed concern over its constitutionality.
It said: ‘The justice sector of our country is progressively sliding into the destructive dungeon with no hope in sight of its recovery.
“All the courts have been under lock key with many pending cases. Time and space will not permit us to enumerate the inexhaustible evil consequences of this ugly situation.”
The committee urged the 36 states governors to commence the implementation of judicial financial autonomy in the country.
“We particularly urge Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra to ignore the decision of the Governors’ Forum and commence the implementation of judicial financial autonomy in the state.
“We also want to draw the attention of Gov. Obiano to the rot and dilapidating state of infrastructure in the Anambra State Judiciary. Many High Courts, where Judges sit, are in dire straits.
“It has now become a regular practice in many courts in the state for judges and lawyers to un-robe due to the unconducive state of the environment where they sit.”
The statement said that the committee fully lends its support to the demands of JUSUN and shall sustain the support until the demands were met.