JUSUN Strike: NBA directs lawyers to commence street protests

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) directed its members to embark on mass action yesterday, to press home the demand for financial autonomy for the Judiciary. The move is in apparent solidarity with the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), which embarked on a nationwide strike to press home its demand for financial autonomy of the Nigerian Judiciary.

In a press statement signed by the NBA President, Mr. Olumide Akpata, the Association asked all NBA Branches “to effectively mobilise their members and pay visits to their respective State Governors at the Government Houses on Monday, 19th April, 2021 to press home the demand for the implementation of financial autonomy for the Judiciary. At the visit, NBA Branches in each State are to present a joint written demand to their State Governor, requesting full compliance with existing legislative instruments and court judgements on the financial autonomy of the Judiciary”.

Noting that the demand for financial autonomy “is legitimate, constitutional and is in the best interest of the Judiciary, as it is one of the key parameters for enthroning the independence of the Judiciary and fostering democracy”, the NBA also directed the Branch Chairmen “to ensure that these visits are embarked upon, every subsequent Monday, until there is full compliance with this demand that is aimed at strengthening our democracy and the dispensation of justice. We trust that our members will give the leadership of their respective Branches all the support that they require, to achieve this much needed victory for our justice system”.

The move is coming on the heels of stalled efforts to amicably resolve the impasse, a situation bemoaned by the Lawyers’ Association which stated that: “With these developments and the recent actions and utterances of officials of some of the State Governments, it has become apparent that most of the State Governments are not ready or willing to implement the constitutional provisions which grant financial autonomy to the Judiciary”.

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