Barely two weeks into the ongoing strike action embarked upon by members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, Anambra state chapter, over government’s non compliance with the 2011 agreement on Consolidated Judiciary Salary Scale, CONJUSS, the committee of chairmen and secretaries of seven branches of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA in the state has given both the state government and JUSUN a week to call off the strike and resume court proceedings.
The NBA said if at the expiration of the deadline both parties have not resolved their differences and re-open the courts in the state, they would take further steps to get both the state government and JUSUN to listen to the voice of reason, adding that it is regrettable that each time courts are closed down, the lawyers bear the brunt, just as suspects languish in police detentions and prison custodies.
Chairman of Committee of Chairmen and Secretaries of the seven branches of NBA in the state, comprising Onitsha, Awka, Aguata, Idemili, Anaocha, Nnewi and Ihiala, Uba Anene who gave the ultimatum at Onitsha Bar Centre, said they were disappointed and alarmed by by JUSUN.
In the statement jointly signed by Chairmen of six other branches of NBA, including Chudi Obieze for Onitsha, P.O.C Ebubedike for Nnewi, Ben Okoko for Idemili, Chris Adimora for Anaocha, Sabastine Onyia for Aguata and J.I.J. Okolie for Ihiala, NBA declared: “After consultations with the leadership of JUSUN and after several efforts to meet the government of Anambra state which were rebuffed, the leadership of the bar wish to state as follows:
Also expressing dissatisfaction over what they termed as an unhealthy attempts by Obiano to sow division among the branches of the bar in the state by favouring one group over the others, NBA further declared: “We condemn the penchant of the state government, past and present, to withhold or divert statutory allocations to the third tier of government , adding, we call on the state government to, as a matter of urgency and necessity, release statutory allocations meant for the local government councils in the state, to enable them discharge their statutory functions to the people”.