The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Olumdie Akpata on Thursday, expressed appreciation to all Nigerian lawyers for their patience and solidarity during the two months-long strike action by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN.
Akpata thanked all relevant stakeholders for keeping faith in the struggle for judicial financial autonomy.
Recall that JUSUN had on April 6, embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike action seeking full implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary.
Following several engagements, meetings, and agreement on terms, with relevant stakeholders as well as the National Judicial Council, the union on Wednesday, called off its industrial action.
While expressing optimism that the nation will not have to tow this path again, Akpata assured that the leadership of the NBA will continue to engage with JUSUN, as well as state governors, in ensuring a holistic resolution of the issues that necessitated the strike action in the first place.
“On June 4, the State Governors after initial hesitation, signed their part of the agreement which among other things, required the Governors to release funds to the heads of courts in their respective States before the industrial action can be called off.
“However, following a multi-stakeholder meeting held on the June 8, at the instance of the National Judicial Council (NJC), with the the leadership of JUSUN, the NBA and other stakeholders in attendance, JUSUN resolved to suspend the strike action in the interest of lawyers and members of the public who have particularly bore the brunt of the strike action.
“Hence, the announcement made by JUSUN, a few hours ago, suspending the strike action, at the end of an emergency meeting of its National Executive Council.
“There is no question that the last ten weeks have been particularly challenging for many of our members, as a result of the now suspended strike action.
“To this end, permit me to place on record my total appreciation to our members, the leadership of the various branches of the NBA and to all those who showed remarkable doggedness throughout the duration of this very unfortunate episode in our history as a profession and a nation.
“It is my hope that these sacrifices will contribute towards our quest for a more independent and efficient judiciary in Nigeria.
“While we express optimism never to tread this path again, please be assured that, regardless of any misgivings or shortcomings in the process, the NBA will continue to engage with the State Governors and JUSUN, towards a holistic resolution of the issues that necessitated the industrial action in the first instance,” he said.
NAN reports that normal court activities are now to resume on Monday, June 14.