The national leadership of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has said that numerous challenges confronting the Judiciary and judicial system in Nigeria was as a result of lack of implementation of financial autonomy of the Judicial arm of government.
The union leaders advised the state governors against delaying the process of the implementation of the financial independence of the Judiciary, stating that the autonomy if granted, is capable of serving both the national and individuals aspirations.
The union leaders made the call during the 4th National Delegates Conference held in Ibadan today, at Aare Afe Babalola Bar Centre, Iyaganku on the theme, “The Judiciary as the Third Arm of Government: Challenges in Achieving Financial Independence In Nigeria, Governance.”
In his opening remarks, the National President of the Union, Comrade Marwan Mustapha Adamu, said that present situation in Nigeria courts is worrisome and it is affecting the effective and efficient administration and interpretation of justice.
According to him, “the Nigerian Judiciary as the third arm of government is primed and ever-ready to deliver on her justice administration, adjudication and constitutional interpretation mandate. However, the subsisting situations do neither encourage nor facilitate the successful achievement of these mandate. Facilities and resources needed to make this happen are in short supply.
“Courts and court workers and members of the bench are barely managing to cope and survive. The situation is worse and harrowing for lower courts. Over 70 percent of cases, especially those affecting indigent Nigerians are handled by the Magistrate Courts. Sadly, they are in dilapidating states and the workers servicing the courts are being demoralized and demobilized.
“JUSUN is convinced that the financial independence of the Judiciary will help address most of the above x-rayed challenges. We are excited about the Executive Order issued by the President concerning this matter. Sadly, we will see state governors play hide and seek with a matter is clear at daylight. We wish to advise state governments to desist from the time-wasting antics of filing court cases and processes to slow the and delay the implementation,” Comrade Adamu said.
Speaking with journalists after presented his keynote address, a university lecturer and former Nigeria Bar Association, Ibadan Branch Chairman, Oluwole Akintayo, stated that the constitution has directly granted financial independence to the Judiciary, noting that the Executive Order 10 by the President was a formality.
On the basis of Nigeria being a federation, Bar. Akintayo charged the Union to continue to press further on their demand, stating that the onus is on the state’s Houses of Assemblies to implement the provision of the constitution that granted the Judiciary a financial independence.
He said that an independent Judiciary will boost the morale of workers and members of the bench and help in the quick dispensation of justice.
The Chairman, Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and Acting Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Oyo State chapter, Comrade Kayode Martins, in his welcome address, described the Judiciary as an utmost umpire which should be allowed to do its job without interference.
“We should not think of ourselves alone for today. We should remember those coming after this generation. We should lay a solid and good foundation for them too, so that posterity we judge us right. I was fascinated by the United States of America elections and its results. At the beginning it was as if USA election would mark the end of democracy in the world, but immediately the Judiciary pronounced on the election, everybody calmed down and the ruling of the Court was accepted. Judiciary is the utmost umpire