JUSUN threatens to seal Lagos courts as chapter resumes partially
The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has vowed to re-seal all courts in Lagos State following information the state chapter had partially resumed operations.
It said after an extraordinary meeting in Abuja over the matter, it has sent delegates to Lagos to verify the information.
Any court found open, it threatened, would be re-sealed in compliance with its ongoing nationwide strike over judicial financial autonomy.
JUSUN national treasurer Jimoh Musa said partial court reopening is tantamount to war between Lagos JUSUN and JUSUN chapters in the Southwest.
The Nation reports judiciary workers in Lagos on Wednesday observed partial resumption.
Although the courtrooms at the High Court of Lagos State, Ikeja, were locked against litigants, the cash office was opened for those who came to depose to affidavits.
Also, the two main gates into the courtroom complex remained locked to prevent vehicular movement but the smaller gate was made accessible for pedestrians.
The few workers who came to the court turned back when it became clear the courts were not going to sit as there was no judge in the courtrooms.
The development comes 22 days into the strike called by the JUSUN National Secretariat to press home the union’s demand for full financial judicial autonomy in the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Abuja.
However, JUSUN workers at the Federal High Court in Lagos did not join the partial resumption with the court totally sealed up.
Last Wednesday, Lagos JUSUN decided on a partial resumption, but quickly backtracked following opposition by the national secretariat.
Its chairman, Shobowale Kehinde, said partial resumption would allow for clearance of backlogs of cases, reading of judgements and decongestion of prisons occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and the #EndSARS protest.
He said work and official duties were constrained to Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of every week.
He added that Monday and Tuesday of every week remained ‘Strike Days’ and all staff members must stay off duty to observe the strike.
He further explained Lagos had met 70 percent of their demands and government was speedily looking into other demands which results were manifesting.
But Musa told The Nation that this was unacceptable.
He said: “Last week it happened like that. I had to travel to Lagos to make sure that the place was locked up. Surprisingly today (Wednesday) we were called on that that the same thing was happening there again.
“We don’t know what is wrong with that (Lagos) chairman; he doesn’t have the capacity to do that. It is a NEC (National Executive Committee) decision. He alone cannot sit in Lagos and take that decision.
“Whatever the pressure is, he is supposed to come to the national body. NEC will sit and he will table his issues. If approved, fine.
“But as I’m speaking to you now, we’ve just finished a meeting. We have resolved that Lagos must be shut down, if truly it is open today.
“We have delegated some people to go there (Lagos) and all the Southwest JUSUN will be against Lagos; that place must be shut down. This is our decision. It must be shut down. If Lagos opens, it will be fighting against the Southwest JUSUN and we are going to lock it back up.”
Calls to the JUSUN chairman in Lagos rang out.
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