By Wahab Akanji, Abuja
Members of the the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) have threatened to shut down the courts in states that have refused to grant financial autonomy to the judiciary.
The union said it will no longer accept a situation where judicial workers are not paid salaries for several months by state governments.
The threat is contained in a communique issued by the leadership at the end of their national delegate conference.
In it the union threatened to drag state governments across the country to court in a bid to enforce financial independence for the judiciary.
The union is also not happy about the difficulties faced by retirees from the judiciary in collecting their entitlement and demanded the creation of a Judicial Pensions board by the three tiers of government to take care of retirees from the judiciary.
The communique signed by the President, Comrade Marwan Mustapha Adamu and General Secretary Isaiah Adetola, the union frown at the failure of some state governors to implement the judgment of the Federal a High Court in Abuja granting financial autonomy to the judiciary.
The communique said that apart from the garnishee proceeding already commenced against some states Government, it shall further use other judicial processes to deal with defaulting states governments.
The union also expressed full support for the ongoing anti corruption crusade of the Buhari administration, pointing out that corruption and impunity has puaperised Nigerians and urged the government to continue in the fight until victory is won.
They commended the “Federal Government of Nigeria for respecting the provisions of the 1999 Constitution as amended and call on both the Federal and the State Governments to ensure full Independent Financial Autonomy of the Judiciary as contained in the 1999 Constitution as amended and all monies meant for the Judiciary paid to Head of court on time and in accordance with sections 81(3), 121 (3) and 162 (9) of the same Constitution”.
They condemned the attitude of state governments and their flagrant disobedience of the Judgment of 13th January 2014, delivered by the Federal High Court, Abuja in respect of the full financial autonomy and independence of the state Judiciary, describing it as abuse of power.
They call for immediate compliance with the provision of the Constitution regarding the independence and Financial Autonomy of the Judiciary.
The union also demanded that salaries of the Judiciary workers should be paid as and when due on due as contained in section 15 of the Labour Act, CAP, LI, Law of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, adding that non-payment of salaries that spans for months would no-longer be accepted. Otherwise it would attract industrial action by JUSUN.