Judiciary workers across the federation, Monday, locked both the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Mariam Aloma Mukhtar and other Justices of the Supreme Court out of office, even as they paralyzed legal activities in all the federal government owned courts in Abuja in protest of what they termed “inhuman work conditions.”
The workers who stormed Abuja in their numbers under the aegis of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JASUN, brandishing several placards, equally blocked the entrance gates to both the Appeal and Federal High Courts where they sang and danced till the close of work.
In a bid to forestall the possible hijack of the protest by hoodlums, the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Azubuike Ihejirika, promptly positioned armed military men at the entrance to the Aso Rock Villa where the Supreme Court is situated, just as anti-riot police squads manned sentry within the various courts that were besieged by the protesters.
Meantime, efforts to pacify the aggrieved workers to allow the judges to access their offices proved abortive, a situation that culminated to the CJN directing the Chief Registrar of the apex court to quickly conduct a holistic investigation into the root cause of the crisis.
Speaking to Vanguard, the National Chairman of JASUN, Comrade Marwan Mustapha Adamu said the association’s action was sequel to federal government’s failure to issue a circular for the implementation of Consolidated Judicial Salary Structure, CONJUSS, that was approved for judiciary workers since 2009.
He noted that a 21-day ultimatum issued by the union had since elapsed without any feedback from the government despite several correspondences between the two sides.
Meanwhile, the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr. Sunday Olorundahunsi, has appealed to the striking workers to go back to work.
A statement issued by office of the Chief Registrar, a copy of which was made available to Vanguard by the media aide to the CJN, Mr Ahuraka Isah, read: “Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Mr Sunday Olorundahunsi has appealed to members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN to return to work on the grounds that their grievances are being addressed at the highest levels of authorities concerned alongside with the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC.”