Chief Judge (CJ) of Kogi State, Justice Nasiru Ajanah, has pleaded with the state’s branch of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to sheathe their swords, just as he urged the Governor Yahaya Bello to honour agreement reached with peace-brokers who intervened in the judiciary-executive face-off.
A statement signed by Senior Information Officer, Kogi State Judiciary, Saqeeb Saeed, said the CJ made the appeal when he received the report of the meeting held between the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and the consultant appointed by the executive to join with the JSC on the conduct of the biometric data capturing of judiciary workers in the state.
According to the statement, Justice Ajanah pleaded with JUSUN when told of the position held by the union during the two-day meeting held at the conference room of the judiciary headquarters in Lokoja.
Saeed said JUSUN had insisted that judiciary workers in the state would not participate in the biometric data capturing exercise until all the outstanding 11 months salaries of its members were cleared or the N1.5 billion owed the judiciary that the National Industrial Court ordered the Executive to pay was paid.
He, however, said that before making the appeal, the CJ sought to know the position of the consultant and the representative of government on the knotty issue of judiciary subvention and the payment of salaries to workers.
Meanwhile, while elaborating on the meetings he had with the groups that intervened, the Chief Judge was optimistic that the executive arm would not renege on the agreement just as he counseled the governor of the state on the need to honour the agreement reached.
He said: “It is going to be one full year that you last received your salary if at the end of this month of July we are unable to resolve this matter. It is in the spirit of this stark reality that I am also urging the executive to do the needful by honouring the agreement reached with these groups. We agreed that the commencement of the exercise would not in any way hamper the payment of your salaries and I want to believe that Governor Yahaya Bello will not renege on that.
So, I am pleading with you people to let us give the government and this group this honour, especially since the JSC would be carrying out the exercise, which is in compliance with your agitation. If neither your account number nor your Bank Verification Number (BVN) would be required for the conduct of the exercise, I think that should be enough to assure you of the security of your salaries and that there would be no table payment of your salaries. I am therefore urging you to allow us to put this behind us once and for all.”