Lawyers working in the Cross River State Ministry of Justice have threatened to shut down the ministry following perceived anomaly.
The shutdown is billed to commence on Thursday if the situation is not addressed.
In a notice of strike made available on Sunday, the lawyers said that the reason for the planned action was the non-approval of the scheme of service for law officers in the ministry.
The notice was transmitted to the Head of Service in a letter dated November 1, 2016 and signed by two officers of the Law Officers’ Association of Nigeria, Eneji Amajama and Moses Nkwo, Chairman and Secretary of the LOA respectively.
They said that they would embark on the strike because the state government was unwilling, unprepared and unconcerned about giving effect to the harmonisation policy in favour of the lawyers.
In the letter titled, ‘Notice of strike action following the state government’s failure to implement the harmonisation policy in favour of law officers,’ the lawyers reminded government that their ultimatum would expire on Wednesday.
It partly read, “Within 15 days from the date of the receipt of this notice (November 1), the state government should pay in full the arrears of the new remuneration package due to law officers as currently enjoyed by magistrates of the same call year.”
However, reacting to the development, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Joe Abang, acknowledged that lawyers under him were aggrieved.
“Let’s wait till Thursday,” he said.
On his part, the Head of Service, Mr. Ekpenyong Henshaw, said the government was doing everything to stop the planned action, explaining that the issue had been on for years.
Henshaw, who served as the Solicitor-General and Permanent Secretary in the ministry before he became the Head of Service, had asked for parity between lawyers in the ministry and magistrates in July 2015, while the lawyers said they were counting on his intervention in the matter.