In compliance with the nationwide strike embarked on by judiciary workers under the aegis of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, all courts in Kano, Oyo and Lagos States were shut on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that JUSUN declared an indefinite nationwide strike to press home their demand for the financial autonomy of the judiciary.
NAN correspondents who monitored developments report that JUSUN members locked out staff members, litigants and their lawyers from entering the court buildings.
The Chairman of JUSUN in Kano State, Mukhtar Rabiu-Lawan, told a NAN correspondent that the lock out was in compliance with the instruction given by the JUSUN National Headquarters in its letter: No JUSUN/NHQ/GEN/III/VoL II/65, dated April 1.
Rabiu-Lawan said: There is no going back.
“We have begun the strike and all courts within the state have been shut.”
Also in speaking, Kayode Olusegun, the Chairman, JUSUN, Oyo State Chapter, said there is no gong back on the action.
Olusegun expressed regrets that nothing positive had been done to the Executive Order signed by President Muhammadu Buhari granting financial autonomy to both the judiciary and and legislative arms of government.
NAN reports that lawyers and litigants in customary, magistrates’ and high courts were turned back.
Also at the Ikeja High Court in Lagos, members of JUSUN donning red vests had prevented entry into the premises by members of the public by sealing all the entrances to the court premises.
A banner notifying the public about the ongoing strike was placed conspicuously at the main entrance of the court.
Members of the union were also observed chanting words of protest stating that their rights should be enforced.
“Solidarity forever, we shall always fight for our right,” they cried.
NAN reports that President Buhari had on May 22, 2020 signed into law an Executive Order granting financial autonomy to the legislature and 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.
JUSUN on April 3 issued a circular ordering the closure of courts across the country from April 6 as a measure to ensure an implementation of the order.