Lawyers in Ondo State have protested the continued strike action embarked upon by Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) over the demand for financial autonomy for judicial arm of government.
The lawyers from five branches in the state converged on Akure High Court complex from where they moved round the state capital and ended in the governor’s office in Alagbaka where a letter of protest was presented to the government.
Armed with different placards including “Please, save the judiciary from sinking. The time for emancipation is now” “NBA says no Executive control of judiciary” “Aketi Obey section 121(3) of the Constitution” “NBA believes in judicial autonomy” and “Save judiciary from drowning” the lawyers said the governors should allow judicial autonomy in the state.
Led by the Akure branch of the NBA, Mr Rotimi Olorunfemi, Thompson Akinyemi and Chiev Orimisan Okorisa of Ondo and Okitipupa branches of NBA, the lawyers said a situation where the judiciary goes to governors for fund each time is not acceptable to lawyers in the state.
In the letter submitted to the governor’s office, the lawyers said the judiciary which is an independent arm of government under the Constitution and saddle with the important role of administration of justice should not be strangulated by the executive arm of government.
In a related development branches of the Nigeria Bar Association, NBA in Ekiti State which include Ado, Ikere and Ikole have called on the Governor of Ekiti State Dr. Kayode Fayemi to accede to the demands of the judicial workers over the implementation of financial autonomy for the judicial sector.
Chairmen of the three branches of the association made the call during a courtesy visit to the governor in his office in Ado Ekiti.
The Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria are currently on a nationwide strike over the failure of state governments to grant full financial autonomy to the judicial sector and the development have paralyzed the justice system of the country.
Speaking with newsmen after the meeting, the chairman Ado Ekiti brach, Barrister Adeyemi Adewumi, chairman Ikole branch Barrister Albert Adeyemi and his counterpart from Ikere Barrister Kikelomo Owolabi explained that the request of the judicial workers for financial autonomy was a constitutional provision which could not be negotiated.
They affirmed that granting financial autonomy to the judiciary would enable the court function effectively urging government to accede to the request so as to enable the judicial sector bounce back to life.
Speaking during the meeting, Governor Kayode Fayemi who spoke through his deputy, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi appreciated the concern of the lawyers and promised to brief the Governor on the matter for necessary action.