Hours after 1,844 prisoners escaped in an historic jailbreak at the Imo Correctional facility, Southeast Nigeria, all Courts in the country, including the Supreme Court, have been put under lock and key by the Judiciary workers nationwide.
Rising under the umbrella of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), the workers on Tuesday began enforcing their indefinite nationwide strike.
The JUSUN national leadership had in an April 1 circular, ordered the closure of courts across the country as from today, until the government complies with the Constitution, court judgments and other instruments which confer or re-emphasise the financial autonomy of the Judiucary.
The circular signed by its General Secretary, I. M. Adetola, directed all states and zonal heads of the union to comply with the strike.
The union stated that it had at its last National Executive Meeting on March 13, 2021 in Abuja, issued a 21-day ultimatum to the government to implement the financial autonomy of the judiciary with a threat that “failure of which JUSUN will have no other option but to resume the suspended national strike action.
“Therefore, as a result of the public holiday on April 5, 2021, the strike action has been postponed to Tuesday, April 6, 2021.
In Lagos, the union evicted court staff from the Federal High Court in Ikoyi, Lagos.
The unionists arrived on the court premises before 9am and directed their colleagues who were in courtrooms and in their offices to comply with the industrial action, pack up and leave.
They sealed some of the offices and pasted notices indicating the commencement of the court shutdown.
At Ikeja High Court headquarters of the Lagos Judiciary, the union members shut the gate and ensured no one, including judges, entered the court premises. A banner with the inscription of JUSUN was boldly displayed on the gate of the court.
Reports from Abuja says all courts, including the Supreme Court are under lock and key.
Presently, the Chief Justice of Nigeria(CJN), Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammed is holding talks with the leadership of JUSUN with a view to shelving the strike. The meeting was scheduled for 10 am.
Yesterday (Monday), Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) President Olumide Akpata said it had opened talks with JUSUN on shelving the strike in the public interest.