By Shamsiyya Mijinyawa
Houses Assembly and the Law Courts are short down for over two months owing to the industrial actions embarked upon by the workers, taken as the last resort, in agitation for independence, referred to as financial autonomy.
Prisons are filled to suffocating capacities in the face of Covid-19 pandemic that require adequate breathing space capacities; some of the alleged culprits against the law, even as capital as unbailable offences, like rape of a minor, are simply asked to provide guarantors, trustees kind of, for bail, pending suspension of workers strike, that will unchain, unlock the courts to reopen cases and file new ones.
JUSUN strike has however been billed to be suspended, which implies that courts could be unlocked on Monday to allow dialogue nuetralised the heated by industrial action polity.
President Muhammadu had, in May 2020, signed an executive order granting financial autonomy to both the judiciary and legislative arms of government — but the order was suspended after state governors raised concerns.
Political commentators and legal luminaries are agreed that the industrial actions are as necessary as the proper checks and balances between and among the three arms of government are.
This reporter learned from the learnered that financial autonomy will make both the legislature and the judiciary independent of the executive.
Prof Yinka Dare, Dr. Chuckwumeka and Barr Murtala Gambo are agreed that with the financial autonomy, governors would not pay the piper to dictate the legislative tune, adding that judiciary, being the last hope of the common man, won’t by the executive be dishonoured by means of undue delay in the implementation of court judgement.
Analogy is relayed, relating to the case of the monarchy in Jalingo-Maiha district, Maiha local government area of Adamawa state; about three years ago, the high court, sitting in Yola, delivered a judgement against a candidate, who was unlawfully appointment by the then Adamawa state governor as the district head, in total violation of the law establishing traditional council and chiefs.
The act was challenged before the law and justice eventually prevailed, defeating the governor’s unlawful interest.
The then governor however, perhaps challenged by the humiliating defeat, dishonoured the court order and the act has opened widely, though unwisely, the window to the romance with the contempt of court, with the court nullified continued, parading himself as district head, as consistently reported by the Periscope, the Newshawk, Daily Hint and the Gazette, among other online media.
About nine months ago, the appeal court equally passed a judgement, which upheld the high court judgement earlier passed, delegitimising the governor appointed district head, certifying the Emirate Council selection and recommendation; directing the state governor to approve the appointment of the court declared district head.
A court order, which to this day, has not been honoured, allegedly motivated by certain political force, perhaps not unconnected with the uncontrolled unconscious bias.
“If the financial autonomy is eventually, fully granted, implementation of court judgement would not be technically vetoed, overriden, overruled and/or frustrated by undue executive delay, by any means politics that would require the intervention of the who is whos in the state’s political sphere, for the legitimate atmosphere that would influence the elected chief executive to go by the book, to honour courts judgement without undue delay”.
There has been the speculation that the workers with the local government authorities would also down tools, agitating for autonomy if the legislature and the judiciary eventually succeeded.
According to the union leadership, JUSUN decided to call off the strike following the intervention of the National Judicial Council (NJC).
“NJC, which is the highest body of the judiciary, appealed to the union to give them two to three months to weigh into the matter and make sure they actualise what we are asking for. They noted that the public is suffering. We decided to accord them that respect,” the leadership said.