Law officers begin indefinite strike over eight months salary arrears
They spent hours at the entrance of the Government House, Owerri asking that the state government suspend seven directors for undisclosed reasons.
The placard-carrying lawyers, led by their chairman, Pius Nwanyanwu, chanted songs to express their feelings. According to the protesters, the world must know that they were being starved by government. They, therefore, sought help from Imo indigenes, who they hoped would ask the Governor Rochas Okorocha to pay them their entitlements.
In a letter co-signed by their chairman, Nwanyanwu, and Secretary, Kelechi Ejimofor, they stated thus: “With effect from today, Monday, 14/12/2015, Law officers in Imo State shall keep away from all their official duties and offices pending when our salaries and allowances shall be paid in full like our friends in the magisterial bench; all our directors suspended without salaries shall be recalled unconditionally; government shall restore means of funding all government cases; office of the public prosecution (DPP), shall be provided with adequate securities (armed policemen) like before; law officers’ arrears of annual practising fees for the past four years should be paid; and arrears of annual Bar conference fees and duty tour allowances (DTA), for the past four years should also be paid.”
They regretted that, from the foregoing, the state government was not interested in the ‘justice sector.’
But in reaction, Okorocha told journalists that the lawyers earn far above their counterparts in Anambra, Ebonyi and other states.
He said whereas Imo pays Level 8 law officers N490,00, and Magistrate, N560,000, their counterparts in Anambra and Ebonyi are paid N117,000 and N180,000 respectively.
They added that the state would not continue to pay such in the light of the dwindling federal allocation. He said they should accept to receive what the state government was ready to pay.