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Group expresses support for judicial strike

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[files] Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) shuts down Federal high Court, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and others in Abuja… PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ATEKO

Members of the Alliance on Surviving COVID-19 and Beyond (ASCAB) led by eminent lawyer and human rights activist, Femi Falana (SAN) have expressed support for the ongoing industrial action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

According to the group, the strike action is highly commendable, since the strike is geared towards the promotion of the independence of the judiciary.

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“The strike is fully supported by the entire members of the ASCAB. Our support is anchored on the belief that the strike is meant to actualize the relevant provisions of the Nigerian Constitution1999, which require that any amount standing to the credit of the judiciary in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government or State Government shall be paid directly to the heads of the courts concerned. 

“However, ASCAB has noted that in some states where limited financial autonomy has been granted by the Executive, the fund earmarked for the judiciary was alleged to have been diverted by some heads of courts. Hence, in the recent past, some Chief Judges and Chief Registrars have been investigated and indicted by the anti-graft agencies for alleged mismanagement of public funds to the embarrassment of the Judiciary,” it said.  

Falana, who is the interim chair of the group, said it is pertinent for JUSUN and the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to put in place a transparent mechanism that will insulate judges from being the management of the funds budgeted for the judiciary so that the heads of courts are not involved in the award and execution of contracts.

“Such a mechanism will prevent judges from being subjected to superintendence by legislative bodies and investigation by anti-graft agencies. It will allow judges to concentrate on the discharge of their core constitutional mandate of administering justice in an atmosphere of independence and impartiality in line with international best practices,” she maintained.


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