By Levinus Nwabughiogu, Abuja
Worried by the continued shutting of courts due to the industrial strike action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), the House of Representatives on Thursday decided to interface with key stakeholders to resolve the matters.
To this end, the House its Committees on Labour, Employment and Productivity and Judiciary including that of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT to meet with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige and the Attorney–General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami to ascertain steps so far taken to address the matter.
It also urged the federal and state governments to speedily intervene and resolve the lingering strike.
The resolution followed a motion titled “Call on the Federal Government to Ensure Speedy Resolution of the Lingering Strike Action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN)”, moved by Hon. Sergius Ose Ogun at Thursday plenary.
It will be recalled that JUSUN had on 6 April 2021 embarked on an indefinite strike owing to the failure of the government to implement financial autonomy for the Judiciary in line with constitutional provisions and the judgement of the Federal High Court.
In his motion, Ogun noted that the House noted that Section 4(2) (b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) provided that the National Assembly shall have the power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the federation or any part thereof.
The lawmaker expressed concern that the strike, which has persisted for over a month, has paralyzed the functions, operations and activities of all courts in Nigeria, thereby shutting the door on access to justice against Nigerians.
“The Judiciary is a critical component of the government that is saddled with the responsibility of adjudication of disputes which facilitates the smooth running and functioning of the State and as such, the closure of courts portends grave danger to the polity and is capable of exacerbating the current security situation in the country.
“The strike has contributed to the overcrowding of police cells and correctional facilities across the country as inmates are unable to go for trial or even get bail, as well as festering of disputes between private citizens as there is no judicial forum to submit their grievances for resolution.
“The Federal Government and some States Governments for the steps they have taken so to resolves the dispute so that the strike can be called off”, he said.
Adopting the motion, the House gave the committees 2 weeks within which to conclude the assignment and report back to the House for further legislative action.
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