Litigants with cases in various courts in Nasarawa State have appealed to judicial workers in the state to end their one-week-old strike “in the interest of justice”.
Some of them, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lafia, Akwanga and Keffi, begged the workers to resume work while the issues were being resolved.
NAN reports that the workers, under the aegis of the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, embarked on an indefinite strike on February 16, citing government’s refusal to effect annual increments.
Jimoh Musa, JUSUN Chairman in the state, while briefing newsmen on the workers’ strike, also accused government of refusing to promote deserving workers.
But the litigants, mostly lawyers and their clients told NAN that the consequences of the strike were “devastating”.
One of them, Saidu Bako, told NAN that cases were usually delayed over shortage of manpower even when the workers were in the offices.
Bako said: “Even when the workers are around, cases are delayed because they (workers) are not adequate. One can only imagine what the situation will be, if they are not there.”
Bako, a lawyer, observed that the workers’ strike would cause a mass delay in justice delivery.
He said: “We want the workers to remember that justice delayed is justice denied. They serve the temple of justice and should make sacrifices for justice to prevail.”
Another litigant, John Moses, urged the state government to look into the demands of the workers to placate them into returning to offices.
Moses said: “Government should look into the concerns of the workers in the interest of industrial harmony and effective justice administration.”
He regretted that a case in which he was awaiting judgement was “still hanging” due to the strike.
Another litigant, Shehu Musa, urged all concerned to shift grounds toward reaching an amicable agreement.
Musa said: “All concerned must strive to agree on the issues so as to avoid a situation where people will be be forced to take the law into their hands out of frustration.
“When you have a matter that requires a competent court to handle and the courts are on strike, what will you do? What are the other options toward seeking redress?”