The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has thrown its weight behind the ongoing strike by the judiciary workers in the 36 states and blamed the state governors for failing to obey a court order directing that funds meant for all the state judiciaries as allocations from the Federation/Consolidated Revenue Fund should be paid directly to heads of the state courts.
The NLC in a statement signed by its President, Abdulwahed Omar, said it would take all the necessary steps to ensure the success of the strike which started on July 11, after failed interventions to get all the 36 governors to obey the court order.
A Federal High Court presided over by Justice A.F.A Ademola in Abuja, had in January this year granted the order, and declared as unconstitutional, null and void piece-meal payments/allocations of funds through the ministries of finance in the states to the state judiciary by the state governors.
The NLC explained that the issues at stake were fundamentally constitutional as the governors’ handling of funds meant for their state judiciaries had been in breach of the 1999 Constitution.
It recalled that some of the governors were themselves direct beneficiaries of the courts in upholding constitutional democracy, and therefore wondered why they would be obstacles to the sustenance of democracy.
“The governors have shown their collective disdain for democratic processes and are therefore obvious promoters of impunity and Nigerians should consider them part of the anti democratic elements who constitute danger to democracy in Nigeria.
“It would be a dangerous precedence for the governors to be leading in blatantly refusing to obey a judgment that has been made by a court of competent jurisdiction as this will be an open encouragement of anarchy and a daring promotion of impunity,” the statement read.
It called on the governors to comply with the judgment or follow appropriate judicial processes and stop behaving as out-laws.
while re-assuring judicial workers of its firm solidarity with their struggle to enforce their rights.
“While commending the federal government for implementing this constitutional provision, we call on all Nigerians, including the legislature at state and national levels to support the struggles of the judicial workers as this is also part of struggles that will ultimately ensure full independence of the judiciary in Nigeria,” the statement added.