The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria JUSUN on Tuesday in Abuja, locked out staff members, lawyers, litigants and the general public from the Federal High Court complex in Maitama.
Members of the Union were seen at the court premises as early as 6.30am on Tuesday morning to ensure that no one entered the court premises.
A big padlock was used to lock the entrance to the court from the outside to ensure that no one gained access.
Members of the union were seen sitting in front of the court entrance, they however, refused to speak to NAN and only said “we are on strike”.
Litigants trying to gain entrance were turned away while security personnel attached to the court were seen loitering around.
JUSUN said the strike is to press home their demand for the financial autonomy of the judiciary.
A statement by JUSUN President, Mr Marwan Adamu, said all courts and other departments would be shut until and unless the government does the needful.
Recall that President Muhammadu Buhari had on May 22, 2020, signed into law an Executive Order granting financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary across the 36 states of the federation.
The Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, made it mandatory for all states to include the allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets.
The order also mandates the accountant-general of the federation to deduct from source amount due to the state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation to each state, for states that refuse to grant such autonomy.
Meanwhile, Some lawyers and litigants in Kaduna on Tuesday expressed diverse views on the strike by Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) which led to closure of courts nationwide.
Most lawyers expressed support for the strike, with a few saying that the action would lead to the of collapse of the country’s justice system.
A lawyer, David James, who opposed the strike argued that it might bring about the collapse of justice system in the country.
According to James, the strike will deny those awaiting trial quick resolution of their cases, while lawyers will be made redundant, thus affecting their income.
He further said that the industrial action by JUSUN might increase the level of poverty and crime, if not resolved on time.
“The action was infringing on the fundamental human rights of prison inmates and will also make it impossible for accused persons to be granted bail.
“in such instance, it is the inmates that suffer because of the strike, as their cases are further delayed in courts.
“For example, some of my clients are being unfairly held in police detention because they have not been arraigned before a court due to the strike,” he said.
He urged the government to listen to JUSUN’s demands, if that will bring about reforms in the judicial system.