The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, (JUSUN), Kogi State chapter has said that in view of the judgement of the Industrial Court they can no longer participate in the pay parade or the data capturing because it is illegal , unconstitutional, null and void instituted by Kogi State government.
This was made known on Monday during a press conference by the National Vice President of the union, North Central, Comrade Daniel Adinoyi.
He noted that it was not true that they refused to present JUSUN members for the screening and data capturing of judicial staff as demanded by the executive arm of government in Kogi state .
“We were being pressurised into accepting what the state government want which is the table payment and data capturing , and to allow peace to rain we decided that if all the allow nations leveled against the judiciary is to be proved let us give in to the table payment or the data capturing for them to actually know that we have nothing to hide or we harbour ghost workers as being insinuated by some people,” he said.
According to him, they were in the process of the data capturing when the judgement from the National Industrial Court came . “While we have instituted a court case against the state government in the month of March , 2019 and the judgement came on the 3rd June , 2019 .
“Take Order of the court declared the planned exercise a nullity and by that the earlier agreement had been frustrated because we can not join hand with the government to participate in an action declared illegal by the court of competent jurisdiction.
“That was why we told them that if they were in doubt with the content of the judgement, we served them a copy during our last meeting with SSG and her members . We expected them to read through and ask lawyers to advise them on the content of the judgement and get back to us because the meeting continue.
“What gave rise to the adjustment last week Friday was that if they were in doubt of what we are telling them that the exercise had been declared nullity by the National Industrial Court and for the benefit of doubt we decided to serve them a copy and give them time to actually study it because we are not under any obligation to that , it was because of the mutual understanding between us that made us to serve them otherwise they are the party to the case because their principal is a defendant in that case and ordinarily they ought to have gotten the judgement by themselves.
“We have given the SSG a copy of the judgement, she should read it and meet those that understand the language of the court to interpret for her what the law has said so that they will know what to do when we finally meet next Friday , we will be able to discuss and understand ourselves whether we will go by the judgement or we are being asked to do so by the judgement.
“In our letter attached to the judgement which we gave to the SSG , our position had been made clear and the position was that in view of the judgement of the Industrial Court we can no longer participate in the pay parade or the data capturing because it is illegal , unconstitutional, null and void .
He noted that have never accepted to be screened as it has been the contention with the executive and they have been telling them that what they wanted to do was illegal and they have been coming up with all sort of allegations so that they can be provoked into accepting what they wanted to do , but the visit of the NJC in April suggest that if that is what they want them to do to be paid they should just accept in the interest of the judicial workers who have stayed for long without salaries.
“As a union we still resisted because if you give a police one mile they will move 10 miles , so instead of taking the illegality we decided to test it in court but due to pressure from all angles because we are not the only person involved .
“Even our head of court told us that no body will be victimised but as fate will have it we were in the process of the pay parade when the judgement came .
“The court have now made it clear and we have waited all these while to get the judgement and the court said it categorically that the executive have no business in the affairs of the staff of judiciary which was also contained in the constitution as spelt out by the principle of separation power.
“The NJC waded into the matter because of the concern they have for the staff of judiciary who are dying , who are Hungary, and to avoid further hardship on the staff they asked us to do what the executive wanted to do and it is not as if we are force, we are only advise and we comply.
“We are not condemning the NJC but we appreciated their effort and concern. The way forward for now is the executive to comply with the judgement.
“In judiciary we respect hierarchy a lot because it is a discipline institution and moment the NJCcame and told us to suspend the strike so that we have dialogue with the executive we quickly comply so that we will not be seen as a house,” he said.
Governor Yahaya Bello on the eve of the 2019 State Houses of Assembly elections in his broadcast had said that
“In any case, monies amounting to several months salaries due to Kogi State Civil Servants working in the judiciary are sitting in the banks. My preoccupation is how to get that money to innocent staffers without breaching applicable service rules or our Collective Agreement with Labour. I trust the Almighty God that reason will prevail than.”
And the National Industrial Court ordered in its judgment delivered on 3rd June, 2019 thus:
“By order of this court the Defendants are hereby directed to release the salaries, allowances and emoluments of the members of the claimant which are paid from subvention or the amount standing to the credit of the Kogi State Judiciary with effect from July 2018 to each head of courts….cumulatively amounting to N1,529,885,261.92 accordingly.”