By A’isha Biola Raji
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has called on the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) and his states counterparts to comply with a court judgment on the issue of the financial autonomy for the judiciary in the country.
The General Secretary of the NLC, Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, said in an electronic mail on Wednesday that the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria was a product of government’s refusal to obey a court ruling on the issue.
Ozo-Esan also blamed the current strike action by workers in the judicial sector on unfulfilled promises by the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, state governments and other relevant agencies.
He argued that the demand for autonomy for the judiciary was non-negotiable.
He recalled that the government was yet to comply with a court judgment which directed the AGF to ensure payment of the National Judicial council as part of the process to commence the direct funding of the judiciary which was expected to strengthen the institution.
Ozo-Esan said that since the judgment, expected to promote democratic growth was delivered, seven memorandum of understanding had been signed without implementation.
” The ongoing strike action by the members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria is an outcome of government’s disregard for a Judicial pronouncement by a court of competent jurisdiction.
“It is equally a product of a chain of broken promises by the office of the Accountant- General of the Federation, State Governments and other appropriate Government agencies.
He stressed that the direct funding of the judiciary was a constitutional right which was further strengthened by the judgment.
He lamented that “law officers are seen to be breaking the law in such a brazen manner and at a time like this”.