The Enugu State chapters of the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) and the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) on Monday joined the nationwide protest against non implementation of the judiciary financial autonomy.
Five branches of NBA in Enugu State protested to the Government House, Enugu in solidarity with the members of JUSUN over its ongoing strike.
The five bar branches are Enugu, Nsukka, Oji, Obollo and Ezeagu.
Speaking during the protest on Monday, the chairman NBA, Enugu chapter, Mr. Jude Ezegwui said the five bar branches wanted the governor to be among the first state in the South East zone to implement the autonomy and independence.
According to him, JUSUN strike is affecting us badly and cases are pending in the courts and if judiciary is secured financially, it will encourage speedy dispensation of justices and improve welfare of the judiciary workers.
“Enugu NBA is of the view that the state should comply with the Executive Order of President Muhammadu Buhari on the financial autonomy of the judiciary as an arm of government,” Ezegwui said.
He also urged the Enugu State government to obey and comply with the order in favour of JUSUN on financial autonomy in Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/63/2013.
“Government should not pick and choose which order of court or section of the constitution to obey or disobey.
“We are aware of the huge infrastructural development carried out by the state government in the judiciary arm.
“But what is the value when there are no humans to man them, they will simply decay,” he said.
The chairman, therefore, appealed to the state government to sort out all issues that led to the ongoing strike.
Celestine Nnamani, Chairman JUSUN, Enugu State said the emphasis of the Federal High Court judgement which interpreted Section 129 of the 1999 constitution should be implemented by the state government.
“We know our governor and who he is; he has listening ears. We want him to lead five eastern governors in the implementation because we believe in him.
“As a loving governor, we came to beg him and this will be our last plea to him asking for judiciary independence and financial autonomy,” Nnamani pleaded.
Responding, the State Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi commended them for their peaceful protest, saying it was their constitutional right to express their grievances peacefully.
Ugwuanyi, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Simon Ortuanya said the state had done so much for the judiciary arm of the government in the last three years.
“We had built and renovated many court buildings, recruited many magistrates and ensured their welfare in the state.
“And we will continue to support and promote the cause of judiciary arm of the government,” Ugwuanyi said.
Members of JUSUN had on April 6 embarked on indefinite strike over failure of governments at all level to implement Judiciary financial autonomy and independence.