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Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has warned that the state government will no longer pay salaries of the state’s chapter of Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) if it fails to call off its strike by the end of May.
Wike insisted that there was no basis for JUSUN strike in Rivers because the judiciary was already enjoying financial autonomy and improved staff welfare.
The governor spoke on Tuesday in Port Harcourt at the special court session in honour of the retiring Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra which was monitored by Africa Daily News, New York.
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He explained that the state was not unaware of the agreement among the Federal Government, the Governors Forum and JUSUN on the implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary and legislative branches across the country.
But he said: “We would therefore neither set up any new implementation Committee because it’s simply unnecessary, nor allow the state’s judiciary to submit its budget directly to the state House of Assembly in breach of extant fiscal policies and regulations that regulate the state’s budgeting process.”
Wike took a swipe at the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) for instigating unnecessary tension in the state over the appointment of a chief Judge.
He also castigated International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) for making ‘misguided noises’ on gender equality because a woman was not recommended by the National Judicial Council to succeed Justice Adama Iyayi-Lamikanra.
The governor maintained that in the appointment of an Acting Chief judge, the most senior judge in the hierarchy remained an absolute condition.
He said the condition was not the same in the appointment of a substantive chief judge.
He said: ‘Apart from the basic qualifications, sound character, ability to lead and work harmoniously with colleagues, hard work and willingness to take on challenging cases without a penchant for returning files for reassignment on flimsy excuses are some of the accepted dispositional requirements for such very important appointment.
AFRICA DAILY NEWS, NEW YORK