courts2BENIN CITY –  Following the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) industrial strike over financial autonomy nationwide, legal practitioners in Edo State have taken to plying their trade at various police stations across the state.
Most lawyers have resorted to taking briefs from their clients, as well as plead for bail for  suspects at the mercy of police officers, who decided whether or not to grant bail.
It would be recalled that JUSUN commenced a nationwide strike action on Monday January 5, 2015 to press home their demands for the financial autonomy for the third arm of government, in line with a recent court judgement.
When The NIGERIAN OBSERVER visited the Criminal Investigation Department of Edo State headquarters in Benin City, hordes of lawyers were seen within the premises moving from one office to the other, apparently making arrangements to secure bail for their clients.
A counsel who spoke to our reporter yesterday at the police headquarters but refused his name in print said the JUSUN strike has affected them negatively as it was the beginning of a new year.
He stated that apart from the financial empowerment from clients, which he said was the oil that rotates the wheel of the legal profession, litigants and inmates remained worst hit in the ongoing strike as every court process is stalled.
Investigations also revealed that in other police stations, such as Ogida, Oba Market, Oregbeni, Okhoro police stations, all in Benin City, lawyers have eventually taken over the stations.
Meanwhile, some litigants in Benue State home cried out against the effect of judiciary workers strike on them and their families.
Speaking to newsmen in Makurdi on behalf of the litigants, Benue lawyers lamented that most of their clients, especially those in detention had started wondering if they could ever be free.
The nationwide strike by JUSUN over financial autonomy, among other demands, is already in its second week.
The lawyers said that most of the detained persons, whose cases are on the awaiting trial list, had resigned themselves to fate over their predicaments.
Chairman of Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Makurdi Chapter, Mr Mike Assoh, appealed to both the states and federal governments as well as JUSUN to resolve all the issues in dispute to cushion the effects of the strike on the populace.
He said that it had become necessary to mitigate the effects of the strike on litigants and their families as well as on members of the general public.
Mr Edwin Ikyorve, said that some of his clients, who should have been on bail if the courts had been in session, were still in detention.
“Imagine how a person who had been promised that he would be released after a court sitting will feel still being held in detention and with no hope of when the problem will end,” Ikyorve said.
Another lawyer, Mr Titus Hyundu, pointed out that the psychological effects of the strike on his clients were unimaginable, adding that some of them had gone into a state of despondency.
Hyundu said that even those who were on subpoena could not travel out freely because the strike could be called off any time.
He said such people know that they must appear as witnesses in court or face contempt charges.
Hyundu also said that business had seriously been paralysed for so many people especially the subpoenas and lawyers as a result of the strike.