The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has revealed steps to increase pressure on states unwilling to implement judicial financial autonomy as demanded by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) which has been on a nationwide strike.
The NBA stated that it has mandated its association’s chairmen nationwide to visit the governors of the 36 states tomorrow (Monday) and demand implementation of judicial financial autonomy.
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This was contained in a letter signed by the NBA President, Olumide Akpata, on Friday, April 16.
According to Akpata, the governors had shown no willingness to comply with the law and a judicial decision on the matter.
He said lawyers would visit the state houses every Monday and present a written demand for implementation of judicial financial autonomy until the governors comply.
Ripples Nigeria had reported that JUSUN on April 6 sealed all federal and state courts in almost all states in enforcement of its indefinite nationwide strike over the non-implementation of judicial financial autonomy.
The strike is to press home JUSUN’s demand following a landmark High Court judgment of January 13, 2014, which confirmed autonomy of the Judiciary in line with the spirit and letters of the Constitution.
In the letter, Akpata reiterated the demand for financial autonomy as “legitimate, constitutional and is in the best interest of the Judiciary as it is one of the key parameters for enthroning independence of the Judiciary and fostering democracy.”
He said: “Prior to the commencement of the strike action, the Nigerian Bar Association, while supporting the objective of the industrial action, had taken a position that the timing of the strike action would work hardship on legal practitioners, and everyone involved in the justice administration process.
“As a result, the NBA has since then been in touch with JUSUN and other critical stakeholders to discuss the strike action and various strategies for resolving the same in the interest of everyone concerned.”