Courts in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and other states across the country were on Tuesday shut in compliance with the nationwide strike embarked on by judiciary workers under the aegis of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN.
JUSUN had declared an indefinite nationwide strike to press home their demand for the financial autonomy of the judiciary.
In Lagos, members of JUSUN reportedly locked out staff members, litigants and their lawyers from entering the court buildings, while the Federal High in Abuja Court.
The Chairman of JUSUN in Kano, Mukhtar Rabiu-Lawan, explained that the lockout, was in compliance with the instruction given by the JUSUN National Headquarters in its letter dated April 1.
“There is no going back. We have begun the strike and all courts within the state have been shut,” Rabiu-Lawan said.
Lending his voice to the industrial action, Kayode Olusegun, the Chairman, JUSUN Oyo State Chapter, said there was no going back on the action.
The Oyo state branch expressed regrets that nothing positive had been done to the Executive Order signed by President Muhammadu Buhari, granting financial autonomy to both judiciary and the legislative arms of government.
At the Ikeja High Court, members of JUSUN donning red vests prevented entry into the premises by members of the public by sealing all the entrances to the court premises, while a banner notifying the public about the ongoing strike was placed conspicuously at the main entrance of the court.
“Solidarity forever, we shall always fight for our right,” they chanted.
President Buhari in May last year signed into law an Executive Order granting financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary across the 36 states of the federation which made it mandatory for all states to include the allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets.
The order also mandates the accountant-general of the federation to deduct from source amount due to the state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation to each state, for states that refuse to grant such autonomy.