Kogi state government has declared its readiness to carry out biometric data capturing of the state judicial staff to enable them receive their salaries and other emoluments due to them.
The Secretary to the State Government (SSG) Dr Folashade Ayoade Arike who disclosed this at a press conference in Lokoja yesterday said she was shocked last week Friday when the Judicial committee who suppose to meet the executive committee to fashion out the modality for the biometric data capturing of the judicial staff came to the meeting with a letter that they can not participate in the already arranged exercise designed to capture them electronically for the purpose of paying them their salaries.
Arike who is the head of the executive committee for the exercise further lamented that just last week she received a letter signed by the Chief Judge of the state Justice Nasiru Ajanah to the effect that the judiciary will fully participate in the biometric exercise.
According to her “I received a letter in my office last week dated 6th of June 2019 from the judicial committee informing me in the letter that they have been directed by the Chief Judge of the state Justice Nasiru Ajanah to fully participate in the biometric data capturing exercise in line with the previous agreement .
“The letter said we should do every thing possible to ensure a successful and hitch free exercise and added that they have already set up judicial committee who will meet with the executive committee of the biometric data capturing.
“But to our dismay we called for a meeting on Friday morning , and they came with a letter from Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) Kogi state branch telling us that there is a court judgement and they can not participate in the exercise”
Part of the letter they gave us on Friday reads : In view of the court judgement we can not partake or subject ourselves to an exercise that has been declared illegal by a court of competent jurisdiction “
She noted that “The judgement is new to us but we will study the judgement and lias with the attorney General of the state and get back to them this week Friday.
“The executive arm of the government is very ready and in a hurry to pay the judicial staff their salaries. They were asked to call off the strike and they wrote us officially that they need one month subvention to enable their members submit themselves for the biometric data capturing, which we gladly released to them to hasten the conduct of the exercise, even when they were yet to submit the payroll to us”
Also speaking the Commissioner for finance, Ashiru Idris said that the state government is very ready to pay their salaries as soon as the biometric data capturing exercise is carried out, stressing that the executive have demonstrated the willingness to pay their salaries by releasing one month subvention to the judiciary.
The state chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC) Comrade Ojo Ranti who is a member of the biometric committee urged all the parties involved including the labour union to study the judgement with a view to take a step that will not amount to contempt of court.
“We are believing that the legal team of the government should look at the judgement and the judiciary too should also look at the judgement and the labour will also look at the judgement to find a way out” he advised.