The National Association of Catholic Lawyers, NACL, on Monday, faulted the extended strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria over demands for financial autonomy.
JUSUN had on April 6 embarked on industrial action, shutting down courts across the nation to press home their demand.
But, some lawyers have raised concerns over the effect of the strike on police stations across the nation with lots of detainees awaiting bail and other forms of judicial remedies.
In a statement co-signed by NACL’s President and its Secretary General, Chukwuma Ezeala and Angela Odunukwe respectively, the apex body of Catholic lawyers described the prolonged strike as unacceptable, urging the Federal Government to accede to the legitimate demands of JUSUN and allow for the resumption of full operations of courts at all levels.
The statement reads, “We, members of the National Association of Catholic Lawyers (NACL), during our executive meeting on the 14th of May, 2021 deliberated, among other issues, on the State of the Nation.
“As Catholics, and as lawyers, we are conscious of the right of workers to associate freely, and do hereby restate our solidarity with members of the Judiciary Staff Association of Nigeria (JUSUN) currently on an industrial action to press for autonomy and independence of the judicial branch of government at all levels.
“We find it completely unacceptable that the activities of an entire Branch of Government, in this case the branch that holds the last hope of the Common Man, will be shut down for such an extended period of time.
“Consequently, we call on the National Assembly, the Executive branch of government and the Nigeria Governors Forum to immediately accede to the legitimate demands of JUSUN and allow for the resumption of full operations of courts at all levels.”
The lawyers also expressed concerns over Nigeria’s security situation and level of poor governance across the nation.
“The frustrations within the system and an apparent laissez faire and seeming unconcerned posture of the country’s leadership has led to calls from some quarters for the President to resign or be impeached. These calls arise from genuine concerns of Nigerians.
“So, we call on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federation, His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari to, as a matter of urgency, convene an International Security Summit that will exhaustively deliberate on the current security situation, enable us learn lessons from countries that experienced similar situations in the past and have overcome same,” the statement added.