Judicial Staff Strike: Bar Leaders Seek Early Resolution

BAR LEADERS in Lagos have urged parties in the ongoing strike action by Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), to immediately resolve the crisis and allow courts to re-open.

   The leaders in a communiqué issued on Friday after a meeting of the Executive Members of the four branches of Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in Lagos, and read by the Lagos State Attorney General, Ade Ipaye, noted that the strike has caused untold hardship to ordinary Nigerians who are deprived of their freedom, being without trial and opportunity to apply for bail.

   According to them, the strike has not only deprived legal practitioners their means of livelihood but has in a very disturbing way, also signalled the impotence of the Nigerian Justice system, as well as constituted a clear inducement to impunity.

   The leaders noted that the action has made fundamental rights enforcement, settlement of disputes, taxation and company management impossible, thereby shutting down all justice infrastructure provided by law in Nigeria.

   While supporting autonomy of the judiciary and direct deduction or remittance of money budgeted for the judiciary in the consolidated Revenue Fund Account of the federal and state government, the leaders said it is ironical that the courts, which are empowered by law to enforce judgments, are being sidelined and shut down by thismethod of enforcement.

   Also, in the communiqué signed by Ipaye and chairmen of the four Bar associations, namely, Alex Muoka, Lagos; Yinka Farounbi, Ikeja; Adedotun Adetunji, Ikorodu; and Chris Okoye, Badagry, the leaders said if the strike is not nipped in the bud, it would create a disturbing precedence whereby a strike action is called to secure the enforcement of a court judgment.

   They expressed fear that the consequence of the strike will not only outlive the strike period but that the breakdown of law and order is the logical result, especially when the 2015 general elections is days away.

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