*As Strike Enters Fourth Week
The Chairperson of the Nigerian Bar Association, Abuja Branch, Hauwa Shekarau, has said that lawyers are sacking their workers.
Shekarau disclosed this during an interview with the PUNCH Newspaper on the impact of the ongoing strike of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, which exactly marks a month today.
“I got information that some lawyers have even laid off some of their staff. This is a clear indication that we are in difficult times.”
However, she said “all these monumental challenges that lawyers are facing are sacrifices for a good cause.
“They are sacrifices for judicial independence. I think it is high time we fought for the right thing to be done”.
Shekarau, while urging lawyers to utilise other opportunities in the legal profession, noted that the legal profession is versatile.
Recall that the JUSUN has been on strike since April 6. The workers are demanding for financial autonomy for the nation’s judiciary in compliance with the Nigerian Constitution and a judgment of the Federal High Court in Abuja which affirmed the relevant constitutional provisions in a January 2014 judgment.
On his part, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, SAN, simply referred to his article titled ‘Why the courts are locked’ which he wrote on the ongoing strike
In the article, Adegboruwa likened the situation to choosing between the devil and the deep blue sea.
“If lawyers support JUSUN for the strike to continue, they lose revenue and slow down the progress of their cases and if they oppose the strike, then their ‘sufferings’ will continue and the executive arm of government will keep trampling upon the independence of the judiciary.
“Whichever option they choose, the courts are locked for now, until further notice,” he said
The Public Relations Officer of the NBA, Port Harcourt Branch, Precious Dike, also said lawyers were the ones at the receiving end regarding the impact of the strike action.
He said, “Sincerely, there is nothing positive, as much as I am concerned, with respect to this strike. Lawyers have been very worried, especially those of us who are courtroom lawyers.
“The judges are paid their salaries, the judiciary workers are paid their salaries, but courtroom lawyers are left with nothing.