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Edo judiciary workers suspend strike
The Edo State chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, has suspended its six-month industrial action and instructed its members to resume at their duty posts on Wednesday.
They had gone on strike since January 5 accusing the state government of unwillingness to implement a Federal High Court order, which granted financial autonomy to the judiciary and the non-payment of their July 2014, and January 2015 salaries.
They had also defied two separate directives by the State Judicial Service Commission to resume work or face outright dismissal from service.
A statement by the union’s National Legal Adviser/National Assistant Secretary, P. Nnamani, and the State Chairman, Uyi Ogieriakhi, noted that the suspension would last for one month, following the intervention of an “Honourable Chief Judge’s Committee” chaired by Justice P. A. Akhihiero.
Other personalities said to have intervened include the Esogban of Benin Kingdom, Chief David Edebiri ; the Catholic Archbishop of Benin, Most Reverend Augustine Akubeze; the Anglican Bishop Benin Diocese, Dr. Peter Imasuen; the Attorney-General and Commissionerfor Justice, Henry Idahagbon, as well as the state chapters of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Nigeria Bar Association.
It explained that the suspension was to enable the state's governor, Adams Oshiomhole, to meet up with the directive that “the recurrent expenditure” of the state judiciary “shall be released to the heads of courts; and with concrete assurances” by the committee that no worker of the state judiciary who partook in the strike would be “victimised.”
It read in part, “Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, Edo State branch, after due consultation with the National Headquartres of the union, has decided to suspend the strike action embarked upon by the union for a period of one month. It is expected that this period of one month would afford this eminent persons and stakeholders the opportunity to conclude the modalities for the Edo State Government to pay the seven-month arrears of the Edo State Judiciary Workers.
“Consequently, all members of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, Edo State branch, are hereby to resume work on Wednesday, July 8, 2015.”
However, the state chairman told our correspondent that the workers would begin a “final dispute,” if the state government fulfil its commitment.
“We expect the Comrade Governor to also do his part so that this impasse will be put to an end. We have shifted grounds, even before we called off this strike, that we are ready to drop part of the salaries so that he can stagger the rest.
“But the decision we have taken is to tell all Edo people that we have decided to shift ground more so that this impasse, as directed by the national headquartres, will be put on hold."
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