The Anambra State Government on Monday said the ongoing strike by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), was a national issue and not state-driven.
Prof. Solo Chukwulobelu, Secretary to the State Government, made the assertion, while addressing members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Anambra branch, at a peaceful protest to the Government House in Awka.
Newsmen report that the protest followed a directive issued on April 18 by the President of the NBA, Mr Olumide Akpata, to all branches of the association.
Chukwulobelu said the executive was aware of the need to ensure that all aspects of the three arms of government function properly.
“Your demands on independent judiciary are very important, but it is a national issue.
“The fact that the courts are not sitting is not because of financial autonomy, it is also a national issue, not state-driven.
“On financial autonomy, the state government has worked out an arrangement with the judiciary on how best to share what is received and based on available resources.
“I can also tell you that there is intention by the government to fix the courts across the state to make them more conducive.
“I assure you that your letter will get to Gov. Willie Obiano, so that the dialogue for a better judiciary will continue,” Chukwulobelu said.
Earlier, Mr Kingsley Awuka, Chairman, Committee of Chairmen of NBA branches in Anambra, said it was not proper for government to continue to keep mum over the state of the judiciary.
“We have done press releases and written to the governor appealing for action to better the judiciary, but all to no avail, hence, this protest to present our letter to the governor.
“The governor has the capacity to do the needful without the decision of the Nigerian Governor’s Forum, considering the peculiarity of the states where election is around the corner.
“With the state of insecurity in the state, no legal step can be taken because the courts are under locked and keyed,” Awuka said.
He said that the continued dependence of judiciary on the executive arm of government for its budgeting and funding has manifested in the poor and decrepit judicial infrastructure.
According to him, the most disturbing is the declining confidence of the masses in the judiciary and its independence.