Governors of the 36 states of the federation, on the platform of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), will, tomorrow, meet with the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) over the ongoing strike which had paralysed activities in courts across the country. The union had, on April 6, embarked on a nationwide strike to protest the non-implementation of the financial autonomy of the nation’s judiciary.
The union directed its members across the federation to shut all courts after the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum earlier given over the failure of the government to implement the financial autonomy of the judiciary.
The governors were accused of frustrating the implementation of the financial autonomy for the judiciary, they are accused of seeing the judges as their staff and that they starve the judiciary of funding if they don’t dance to their tune.
President Muhammadu Buhari had, last year, signed into law, Executive Order No 10 of 2020 cited as “the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary Order, 2020.”
A key provision of the said Executive Order which seeks to enforce financial autonomy of the legislature and judiciary of the states, is the power given to the Accountant General of the Federation to deduct from the allocations due to a state from the Federation Account, any sum appropriated for the legislature or judiciary of that state which the state fails to release to its legislature or judiciary as the case may be and to pay the funds directly to the state’s legislature or judiciary concerned.
Speaking to journalists at the NGF secretariat in Abuja, the Governor of Plateau, Simon Lalong, said the meeting is aimed at prevailing on the judicial workers to end the strike.
He said there is a difference between Executive Order 10 and implementation of the financial autonomy law, saying the governors were committed to implementing financial autonomy which is constitutionally backed and that they do not need the executive to arm-twist them on what to do.
Lalong dismissed report alleging that the governors are opposed to financial autonomy of the judiciary.
By Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye,