The House of Reps Committee on Judiciary is to engage the Nigerian Governor’s Forum; as well as all relevant stakeholders with a view to ensuring judicial financial autonomy.
The Chairman of the committee, Rep. Luke Onofiok (PDP-Akwa-Ibom), made this known during a meeting; with the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) in Abuja on Wednesday, April 14.
1st News had reported that JUSUN began a nationwide indefinite strike on Monday, April 6; over the non-implementation of judicial financial autonomy as enshrined in the Constitution.
President Muhammadu Buhari had signed an Executive Order granting financial autonomy to the judiciary; and state house of assembly in May 2020, after several agitations.
However, the gazetting of the order was suspended after Buhari met with governors; who later expressed concern over its constitutionality.
The Reps also appealed to state governors to implement the section of the constitution that demands financial autonomy for the judiciary.
According to Onofiok, if we have all the arms of government operating on equal footing, we are going to have a better society.
The chairman described JUSUN’s demands as genuine to guarantee the independence of the judiciary.
He, however, appealed to the union to resume work at the federal courts; as the Federal Government has complied with their demands.
According to the Reps, it is not good to punish others for the sins of other people.
“It will lead to a better working environment for judicial officers and staff of the judiciary, better staff welfare and enable judicial officers to discharge their duties without fear or favour.
“To that extent, we are in solidarity with you; on the agitations you are making to make sure that you have financial autonomy at the judiciary.
“Our only point of divergence is the totality of the industrial action even within the federal court; if the Federal Government has abided by the provisions of the Constitution in making sure that monies meant for federal judiciary are sent straight to the National Judicial Council, it is not fair for staff of the federal judiciary to continue with the strike.
“I know and sure it is solidarity forever, but let us narrow the strike to those who have not complied with this issue of financial autonomy,” he said.