Ondo Lawyers Back Judicial Workers’ Strike, Seek Autonomy Of Judiciary
In solidarity with members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) over their demand for financial autonomy for the judicial arm of the government, lawyers in Ondo State yesterday protested against the continuous closure of courts due to strike of the judicial workers.
The lawyers from five branches of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) in the state converged on Akure High Court complex from where they moved to the state Governor’s Office at Alagbaka, where a letter of protest was presented to the state government.
Carrying different placards, the protesters flayed the non-implementation of financial autonomy for the judicial arm of government.
Some of the placards read: ‘Please, Save the Judiciary from Sinking’; ‘The NBA Says no to Executive Control of the Judiciary’; ‘Aketi Obey Section 121(3) of the Constitution’; NBA Believes in Judicial Autonomy’; ‘Save Judiciary from Drowning’ among others.
The lawyers said state governors should allow judicial autonomy in the states.
The protesters, led by the Akure branch of the NBA, Mr. Rotimi Olorunfemi; Thompson Akinyemi and Chiev Orimisan Okorisa of Ondo and Okitipupa branches of the association, said a situation where the judiciary goes to governors for fund every time is not acceptable to lawyers in the state.
In the letter submitted to the governor’s office, the lawyers said the judiciary, which is an independent arm of the government under the constitution as well as saddle with the important role of administration of justice, should not be strangulated by the executive arm of government.
The lawyers said without an independent judiciary, the implication on the socio-economic fortune of the people would be better imagined.
The letter read:
JUSUN’s demand, which the NBA unequivocally supports, is, therefore, not alien to our system of governance because federalism comes alive through active implementation of the doctrine of separation of powers.
It is particularly reprehensible that despite all the interventions of relevant stakeholders towards enforcing constitutional provisions, this state has continued the undemocratic practice of micromanaging the funds due to the judiciary with gross impunity, and in breach of oath of office which requires that you uphold the dictates of the constitution.
The NBA said as a major shareholder in the justice sector with the specific mandate to protect the rule of law, the lawyers are in total support of the judicial workers’ strike which is aimed at ensuring an independent judicial arm of government.