Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has suspended its nationwide industrial action.
The decision to call off the over two months strike was taken at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of JUSUN, which held in Abuja.
At the meeting, after painstaking deliberation, the NEC of JUSUN resolved to suspend its strike, effective from Monday.
Part of the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting commended the CJN and Heads of Courts for the patience and understanding throughout the period of the industrial action.
“NEC also commended the NJC for their effort in making sure that governors obeyed the MoA, judgment and agreement on the financial autonomy of state judiciary.
“NEC of JUSUN condemned the actions of governors of Kaduna, Plateau and Benue states by withholding the salaries of judiciary workers for months and urged them to do the needful.”
Also, JUSUN pleaded with the NJC, the Presidential Implementation Committee, the Attorney General of the Federation, the Accountant General of the Federation, and other relevant stakeholders to see that the issue of judicial autonomy is laid to rest in accordance with constitutional provisions.
Recall that the National Judicial Council (NJC) had in a meeting with JUSUN officials on Tuesday, pleaded with the striking court workers to end action in the interest of the country and the suffering court users.
The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Tanko Muhammad, attended the meeting.
Feelers that the strike was about to be called off was sensed on Monday, when JUSUN task force allowed the swearing in of Justice Salisu Garba, as the substantive Chief Judge of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory.
The event took place at the Supreme Court which hitherto had been under lock and key due to the strike.
JUSUN had embarked on the strike to seek the implementation of the Executive Order 10 signed by President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2020, which seeks to enforce financial autonomy for the judiciary and legislature in states.
By the Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, it is mandatory for all states to include the allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution as amended.
More so, the order 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, in the case of states that refuse to implement the autonomy provision.
But the governors have not complied with the executive order, hence the decision of the judicial workers to go on strike.
Meanwhile, the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has announced the suspension of its 65 days old strike.
A statement by Abdullahi Yalwa, National Publicity Secretary of ASUP, noted that the suspension followed an appraisal of the report indicating the gradual implementation of the items contained in the Memorandum of Action signed between the union and the Federal Government.
“The union has resolved to suspend its 65 days old industrial action with effect from 10th June, 2021.
“The suspension is for a period of three months to enable the government complete the execution of the items contained in the Memorandum of Action signed with the union since 27th April, 2021”, it said.
Yalwa further explained that as part of the efforts communicated by the Federal Ministry of Education, certain items have been fulfilled like the reconstitution and inauguration of governing councils and visitation panels in Nigerian Federal Polytechnics.
“We are led to believe that the release of funds for infrastructure revitalisation and minimum wage arrears is currently being processed. Other items include the ongoing efforts at the review of the scheme of service and conditions of service for Polytechnics as well as the commencement of work towards resolution of the issues around CONTISS 15 migration arrears for the lower cadre.
“We also acknowledge the recent passage of the Bill for removal of the dichotomy against HND holders in the country. In reaching the decision to suspend the strike, our union took into cognizance the appeals made by the government, revered traditional stools in the country, members of the National Assembly, chairmen of Governing Councils of Federal Polytechnics and indeed members of the public who showed varied interests in the matter.
“It is the expectation of our union that the suspension of this action will provide an enabling environment for the government to fulfill other aspects of the Memorandum of Action and afford the government an opportunity to reverse its trust deficit within our sector. We equally appreciate the different layers of intervention by critical stakeholder groups in the sector within the period,” the statement added.