By Yekini Jimoh in Lokoja
Following the accumulation of unpaid salaries of judiciary workers in Kogi State, the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), has described the table payment being implemented by the state government as a fraud.
Chairman of the state’s branch of JUSUN, Emmanuel Waniko, in a statement issued yesterday said the state government’s decision to embark on table payment of part of the arrears of salaries owed the workers was not acceptable.
He stated that the union would maintain its stand on compliance with the constitutional provisions that prescribe financial independence for state judiciaries.
Waniko also argued that the government’s refusal to implement an upward review and timely remittance of the age-long monthly subvention due to the state judiciary could worsen the looming crisis between the union and the three courts in the state.
According to him, the combined management of the state’s High Court, Sharia Court of Appeal and Customary Court of Appeal was reportedly requested by the union to explain the modalities and time of payment of the five months’ outstanding salaries owed staff of the judiciary.
The union said it frowned at the attempt by the executive to muscle the state’s third arm of government against the constitutional provisions that guarantees the financial independence of the judiciary.
According to the union, the development contravenes the recent legislative amendment to the constitution assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, which strengthens the financial autonomy of state judiciaries and legislatures.
Waniko further disclosed that JUSUN was bent on taking legal and other constitutionally acceptable measures to ensure that the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not in any way subverted.
He noted that JUSUN would not relent as the struggle borders on the welfare of staff, which includes salaries and the provision of conducive working environment.