Mahmud Mohammed. Chief Justice of Nigeria
Mahmud Mohammed. Chief Justice of Nigeria
The joint meeting for negotiations between the Federal Government, Chief Registrars of states’ judiciary and the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) on Tuesday ended unresolved.
The meeting was held at the office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) in Abuja, with all stakeholders present to deliberate and find the way forward.
The SGF, Anyim Pius Anyim, in his opening remarks had said the meeting was called to have a better understanding of the issue at hand.
He said the meeting was also to take necessary steps in finding solutions.
“FG is ready to comply with the judgment of the court, in line with the Constitution,’’ Anyim said, adding that the Federal Government was committed to the autonomy of the judiciary for the system to work.
He said however that the Federal Government could only help to ensure that state governments complied with the payment based on the availability of resources.
“The Federal Government, as a government, is committed to the autonomy of the judiciary.
“But we need to work together to bring a perfect working solution for everybody, because we do not want this strike to continue for too long.
“It will not be good if all the 36 states’ Chief Registrars come here and they won’t be to have a workable solution.
“I want to appeal to you not to go back without finding a solution.
“This matter has dragged and we want everybody to come to an agreement for the interest of the system and I want your presence here (in Abuja) to make a difference,” Anyim said.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports however that the meeting had on Monday ended with all eyes on the Chief Registrars.
This was on the basis of the Chief Registrars confirming if any state had complied with the court order, which will be the basis for the strike to be called off.
During the meeting with the Registrars, the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, Ahmed Saleh, who spoke on behalf of others from the states, confirmed non-implementation by the states.
“I want to say on behalf of my colleagues, that both the state and federal government have not complied with the court judgment.”
The Attorney-General of Ondo State, Eyitayo Jegede, who spoke on behalf of the Attorney-Generals of the states, said they agreed that a mistake had been made in this regard.
He however pleaded that the next move should about finding a way forward.
“As a body of Attorney-Generals, we met several times, and at each of these meetings we have discussed and took a position.
“This position is that we are all committed in our own way to ensure that every gap in areas of full implementation will be corrected.
“We want to assure that we are all working on the same goal, but we want to plead with you (JUSUN) to give us an opportunity to close all the gaps.
“Let us find a lasting solution to this problem. If we can be given about two months to get everything done and the strike is called off, it will be good,” Jegede said.
The National President of JUSUN, Mr. Marwan Adamu, said the agreement for the meeting was to ascertain if some states had complied or not.
He however pointed out that if no state had complied with the court judgment there was nothing to be done.
Adamu said the only way forward was for the states and Federal Government to obey the court judgment.
He however said another meeting could be held on Tuesday to see how this compliance could be speedily achieved.
On his part, the President of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Augusustine Alegeh, pleaded for the matter to be resolved earnestly.
He said the NBA could not take a decision for the Federal Government or the state governments, but could only advise.
“I plead that the issue of compliance should be resolved tomorrow (Wednesday) at all cost so that the strike can be called off,’’ Alegeh said.
NAN reports that the meeting was later rescheduled for Wednesday at the Supreme Court.(NAN)