Kogi CJ Removal: Judicial Workers Threatens to Shut Courts, Tribunals Nationwide

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Judicial workers in the country under the auspices of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has threatened to disrupt courts activities, as well tribunal setting across the country if the planned removal of the Chief Judge of Kogi state, Justice Nasir Ajanah is carried out.

The judicial workers in the state have been on strike since December 2018 over non remittance of funds accruing to the state Judiciary resulting in eight months accumulated salary arrears.

The Governor had earlier vowed to remove the CJ by all means.

National President of JUSUN, Comrade Marwan Mustapha Adamu said such recommendation is null and void and cannot stand the test of time and Warner that the union will not guaranteed industrial harmony in the nation judiciary, as her members would be withdrawn from all courts in the country should the governor be allow to carry out his evil motive of removing the Chief Justice.

Comrade Mustapha said “we condemned this wicked recommendation for the removal of the Chief Judge of Kogi state, Justice Nasir Ajanah by the State House.

“We warned against total shut down of nation judiciary in solidarity with our members in the state who have being on strike for five months over this matter and also that the matter is pending in Court.

“We see this action by the lawmakers as an affront to the Judiciary and against doctrine of separation of powers as enshrined in the 1999 constitution as amended. We also believe that for the Assembly to even deliberate on the matter is subjudice, since the issue is before the court.

“The national headquarters of the union had earlier seek for audience with the Governor on how best to resolve the matter but all do not avail”.

The workers last month approach the National Industrial Court which they consider as only hope to common man, asking the court to determine “Whether Kogi State Judiciary is not entitled to, as of right, certain amounts in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the state?

They also want the court to decide whether the fund payable to the heads of courts in line with Section 231(3) of the 1999 constitution (as amended) and Section 5 of the Kogi State Public Finance (Judiciary Special Provisions) Law No 6 of 1991 and Whether the governor and his appointees, joined in the case have the power or right to withhold the Judiciary’s funds and thereby failing in the payment of monthly salaries, allowances and emoluments of judiciary staff.

They also asked the Industrial Court to decide “Whether the Executive arm can place such conditions as staff screening, staff data capturing, table payment or any other condition, as a prerequisite for the release of the funds without respect for the doctrine of Separation of Powers, as envisaged by the constitution the Kogi State Public Finance Law?’’

The union also urged the court to determine whether the Executive arm had the powers or constitutional right to usurp the powers of the JSC, by scheming to take over payment of judiciary staff salaries and other emoluments without reference to and approval of the Commission.

It also sought the determination of the Industrial Court whether on the other hand, the Chief Judge and other heads of courts had received any subvention since July 1, 2018, and have refused to pay the salaries and emoluments of staff.

JUSUN therefore urged the court to declare that subject to the provisions of the constitution and laws of Kogi State, amounts standing to the credit of Kogi State Judiciary in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of the state, be paid directly to the heads of courts.

It also urged the court to declare that the Executive lacked the power to withhold funds accruing to the Judiciary, and its continued refusal to remit such funds were unconstitutional, illegal, ultra vires, wrong, null and void; and of no effect.

The union further asked for an order of the court directing the full payment of the accumulated eight months subvention owed the three courts and the JSC.

JUSUN also urged the court to restrain the executive from “taking steps that tend towards usurping the powers of the JSC in terms of payment of emoluments and discipline of judiciary staff’’.

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