Kogi Courts Shut Down as JUSUN Embarks on Indefinite Strike

The Kogi State Chapter of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has embarked on downed tools to embark on an indefinite strike action.

With the development, courts in the state were on Friday shut down by members of JUSUN, and to remain so pending interventions by the government.

The industrial action by the state chapter of JUSUN was to be against the backdrop of none implementation of the N30.000 minimum wage by the government.

An official statement to that effect signed by the leadership of the JUSUN was yet to be made public as of the time of filing this report.

Meanwhile, a Kogi-based Lawyer and Activist, SO. Akobe, Esq. has described the strike embarked upon by Judiciary workers in Kogi State as an avoidable set back in justice delivery.

In a Statement made available to our Correspondent, the Lawyer condemned the disposition of the authorities concerned who, according to him, failed to take positive steps to prevent the strike.

The Statement reads: “On the 5th of July, 2023, JUSUN, Kogi State Chapter directed it’s members to embark on strike with ffect from 6th July, 2023. The demand of the Union is simple and very harmless. the Implementation of Thirty Thousand Naira Minimum Wage! Reportedly, the authorities concerned ignored the ultimatum given by the Union which as stated in Bulletin No. 4 issued by the Union, elapsed on the 14th of June, 2023. My question is: Why was this demand not met in the first place thereby leading to the ongoing strike?

“It is unfortunate that despite the high cost of living especially now that fuel subsidy has been removed by the Federal Government, that Judiciary workers in Kogi State will still have to embark on strike before their demand for the implementation of N30,000 Minimum Wage can be met by the authorities concerned. It is a sad commentary and indeed, a sorry spectacle that our courts where the last hope of the common man lies will be needlessly shutdown over a simple demand for what the workers are, in good conscience and by law, entitled to.

“Let me digress a little to say that the condition of service, facilities for service as well as the welfare of judiciary workers in Nigeria generally, and of course, in Kogi State in particular, have become worrisome issues of national disgrace. The structures (facilities) we use as courts in many places in Kogi State cannot be used to keep animals in a sane clime. Dilapidated structures, old and abandoned buildings, God-forsaken houses and solitary households have become usual symbols and identities of our court rooms and Judges” Chambers in Nigeria.

“The structures we regard as courts and even describe as temple of justice in Kogi State and in many other parts of Nigeria are not truly temple of justice but sorry sites where wretched Judges, oppressed Magistrates and helpless Judiciary Staff are posted to work without any other option. Surely, you can not dream of getting justice from a place or system where injustice got its best definition from. It is injustice not to have befitting court rooms and Chambers 3s well as decent offices for Judges, Magistrates and their Staff as the case may be. It is injustice to keep Judges, Magistrates and their Staff in structures or houses where animals cannot, in good conscience, be kept.

“The question is: Who did this thing to us? Who has bewitched us? Must we be known for wrong reasons? Must it be Kogi? I hereby call on My Lord, the Chief Judge of Kogi State, Hon. Justice Josiah Majebi to, as amatter of urgency and public interest, quickly liasewith other authorities concerned and commenceforthwith the implementation of N30, 000 MinimumWage for Kogi State Judiciary workers. This is not the appropriate time to be calling for meetings for the purpose of negotiating with the workers, it is rather a time to meet the demand of the workers and nothingless. His Lordship is therefore, enjoined to ensure that this strike does not go beyond one week as the strike itself is a major setback in justice delivery. The liberty of many citizens will be adversely affected by the strike especially those that are in prison or Police custody whose freedom cannot be secured without the Courts.”

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