The Chief Judge of Anambra, Justice Peter Umeadi, has thrown his weight behind the strike by judiciary workers seeking the implementation of the Consolidated Judiciary Staff Salary (CONJUSS) in the state.
Umeadi expressed the support in his address on Monday in Awka, at a ceremony to mark the commencement of the 2015/2016 Legal Year in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) recalls that the state chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) began the strike on Sept. 7 to press for the implementation of the salary scheme.
“We have every reason to support JUSUN in their quest to achieve the long drawn and much debated issue of CONJUSS-based emoluments.
“The demands of the state JUSUN are borne from agreements entered with Anambra Government in 2011 which are legitimate, feasible and achievable.
“It is not correct to muddle issues with other interests when the CONJUSS which is backed by law and requisite regulations are raised,” Umeadi said.
The chief judge urged the state government, the Attorney-General and the Head of Service ‘’to come to terms, quickly, with JUSUN on the issue’’.
According to him, the Judiciary Service Commission is looking forward to sponsor a bill in conjunction with the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, through the state Assembly, for the appointment of Revenue Magistrates.
Umeadi explained that the role of revenue magistrates was to assist the government in recovering taxes and other revenue due to it.
Earlier in a remark, the state governor, Willie Obiano, who expressed dissatisfaction with the condition of prisons in the state, promised to work closely with the judiciary to ensure the prisons were decongested.
“The other day I visited the Onitsha Prisons, out of 1, 400 inmates, 720 persons were on awaiting trial,” the governor said.
In his sermon to mark the event at St. Faith Anglican Church, Awka, the Anglican Bishop of Awka Diocese, Most Rev. Alex Ibezim, urged the judiciary to ensure that innocent citizens did not suffer injustice.
Ibezim also called for quick intervention into the increasing rate of awaiting trial cases in Nigerian prisons.
“From observations, some innocent people are being incarcerated because of injustices in the justice administration system,” the cleric said. (NAN)