Members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) on Tuesday staged a walkout from the reconciliation meeting with the Federal Government and representatives of the State Governors.
The striking judiciary workers staged their walkout after waiting for over an hour at the conference room of the Ministry of Labour and Employment, where the failed meeting was to be held.
The workers, who sang solidarity songs as they left the conference room, refused to listen to pleas from the Permanent Secretary who informed them that the Minister was holding a meeting with the government team in his office.
The failed meeting is the second in the series of meetings scheduled with the Labour Minister and aimed at resolving the impasse between the government and the judiciary workers, who are demanding autonomy for the judiciary.
On Monday, security officials at the National Assembly had refused to allow members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to gain entrance during a protest.
The lawyers had been on a peaceful march in solidarity with judiciary workers who are protesting financial autonomy.
A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, has given some insights into the issues of financial autonomy which JUSON is demanding.
In a piece titled ‘Why the Courts are Locked’ published last week, he said the Federal Government has largely complied with constitutional directives to grant financial autonomy to courts and the main issue is with state governments.
Chairman of the NGF, Dr Kayode Fayemi gave the assurance after a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari at the Statehouse on Monday.
He maintained that the Governors forum has never been opposed to the issue of financial autonomy and that the governors, the speakers, and judges are on the same page.
He further disclosed that upon emerging from a meeting with the Solicitor-General of the Federation, the representatives of the judiciary, the representatives of the Conference of Speakers, and the House of Representatives, an agreement has been reached to implement the agreement no later than May.