Strike: Appeal Court Ends Proceedings Abruptly, as JUSUN Shuts down Courts in Lagos

Wale Igbintade

Proceedings at the Court of Appeal, Lagos Division was abruptly suspended on Monday following information that the executives of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, (JUSUN) were on their way to picket the court.

The appellate court, which started sitting as early as 9am had to end sittings when the Chief Registrar informed the justices that ‘strike enforcers’ were coming to lock the gates of the court.

Consequently, Justice Jimi Olukayode Bada (Presiding Justice) in a brief announcement informed parties and their lawyers that the safety of life of everyone present was very important, adding that the court cannot continue sitting.

However, both the Federal High Court, in Lagos, and the Lagos High Court, at Tafawa Balewa Square, TBS were shut down in total compliance with the nationwide strike declared by the organised labour to compel the government to agree on a new minimum wage for workers, and review the increase in the price of electricity for some consumers.

Lawyers and litigants were not allowed into the court premises as the main gates to the court were locked.

At the Lagos State high court, TBS, executives of the Judiciary Union of Nigeria, (JUSUN), were seen gently informing lawyers and litigants that courts will not be sitting in strict compliance with ongoing nationwide strike.

The same situation was recorded at all Magistrates’ courts as JUSUN executives took their stands at the entrance to stop anybody from going in.

Recall that Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, (JUSUN) had directed it members to mobilise for a total and comprehensive industrial action.

The union in a letter addressed to their State Chapters and Vice Presidents directing them to commence mobilisation to ensure strict compliance to the directive.

The letter dated June 1, 2024 tagged
“Mobilisations For Indefinite Nationwide Strike’ was signed by JUSUN Acting General Secretary, Comrade M.J Akwashiki

The letter reads “Following a declaration of industrial action by NLC and TUC, beginning from Monday 3rd June 2024 due to the inability of government to conclude the negotiation of the new National Minimum Wage and refusal to reverse the increase in electricity tariff, I am directed to inform you to commence mobilisation ahead of the action.

“The action will start midnight on Sunday nationwide, so all branches chapters chairmen and secretaries of JUSUN are expected to ensure strict compliance to this directive

“All vice presidents of our great unions are to monitor their respective zones to ensure compliance with the total shut down of all Courts and Judicial Institutes across Nigeria

“Note that the nationwide action is to ensure governments

(a) Agree on a new national minimum wage and subsequently pass it into law before the end of this month as they were notified.

(b). Reverse the hike in electricity tariff without consulting the stakeholders as required oy the Law to N22S5/kwh back to N66/kwh

(C) Stop the apartheid categorization of Nigerian electricity consumers into Bands. “

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