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ANAMBRA COURTS PARALYSED

By NBF News
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Judiciary activities were yesterday paralysed in Anambra State following industrial action embarked upon by judiciary workers in the state. Daily Sun checks revealed that none of the courts in the state was opened to the public, leaving the ever busy court premises deserted.

The judiciary workers, under the aegis of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Anambra State chapter, had observed a three-day warning strike three weeks ago, insisting that it would go into a full blown strike if the government remained adamant to their demands.

However, after critical review of the issues at stake and their relationship with the state government at a meeting of Saturday, February 26, 2011, the union issued a circular to its members to resume an indefinite strike yesterday, a directive that was fully complied with.

The circular, which was copied to the chief judge of Anambra State, president of Customary Court of Appeal, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice and director, State Security Service (SSS), among others read in part: 'The congress appreciates the understanding and efforts of the state head of civil service with regard to the letter of February 17, 2011.'

'The congress, as a result of the above, resolved to resume the suspended strike action on Tuesday March 1, 2011, to press home the implementation of her demands.'

Speaking on the strike, the state chairman of JUSUN, Mark Ifezue, told newsmen that the union embarked on the strike because the state government refused to address the issue that were earlier presented to it.

The issues, he said, included consolidated judiciary staff salary structure; release of the unified scheme of service and refusal to address the state customary court of Appeal issues as they concerned the staff of the State High Court, serving at the state customary among others.

But in a swift reaction yesterday, the state government said the strike by the judiciary workers came to it as a surprise and wondered why the union preferred strike to dialogue.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Mike Udah, who described administration of the state, under Governor Peter Obi, as labour-friendly, noted that the state government had ensured the increase of salaries with the meager resources of the state.

He, however, assured that government would do all it could in ensuring that the cordial relationship existing between it and labour would continue, insisting that dialogue was the best option in such situations.