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Osun JUSUN Strike: Stop Playing Politics With Judiciary, Group Tells Adeleke



Osun JUSUN Strike: Stop Playing Politics With Judiciary, Group Tells Adeleke

-Says Court Closure Cripples Administration Of Criminal Justice, Protection Of Innocent Citizens

-Calls For Immediate Reopening Of Court

The Osun Masterminds, TOM, a civil society organisation has lamented that the continued closure of the court in the state due to the strike embarked upon by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, JUSUN, in the state has crippled administration of Criminal Justice and protection of innocent citizens in the state.

Judiciary workers who had been at loggerheads with the state Chief Judge, Justice Adepele Ojo, over alleged high-handedness, withholding of wardrobe allowances among others, had on November 22 embarked on indefinite strike following a clash with policemen.

Police had dispersed the judiciary workers to stem possible degeneration of a protest, caused by unexpected arrival of the CJ who had come to resume work on the fateful day.

Angered by the alleged attack on the workers by the police, JUSUN declared an indefinite strike action that subsisted till the time of filing this report, thereby paralysing activities in courts across the state.

Apart from suspects awaiting further court proceedings that are in correctional centers in Ilesa and Ile-Ife, others, especially suspects with serious criminal allegations could not be arraigned in court.

Besides, Osun residents who are in need of affidavits for various urgent purposes remained in dilemma and suffering in silence while official judicial transactions remain paralysed.

Reacting, the Executive Director of the group Prof Wasiu Oyedokun-Alli, while addressing a press conference in Osogbo, on Tuesday, said the strike has brought judicial activities in the state to a standstill alleging that the state government is playing politics with judiciary and ought to have made all efforts to resolve issues that may have led to the industrial action.

Oyedokun-Alli, while calling for an end to the industrial action and immediate reopening of court also warned state government not to politics with judiciary in the state.

“Continued Closure of Courts Almost two weeks after the Governor announced that the State Government had reached a compromise with JUSUN, the Courts in Osun remain closed. This is lending credence to the suspicion in some quarters, that the Osun State Government is indeed behind the problem, using the impasse to cripple the Justice System in the State, as a proxy war against the State’s Chief Judge.

“Whatever the true intentions of the State Government are, continued closure of the Courts cripples administration of Criminal Justice and protection of innocent citizens, and this is not acceptable. The Courts must open now! Whatever politics is being played behind the curtains must stop immediately so we can allow this critical arm of government perform its functions.

The group also challenged the state government under the administration of Governor Ademola Adeleke to make his intention knowing for the 2bilion naira palliative money given by the federal government to ease the suffering of poor Nigerians.

“The questions we continue to ask the Osun State Government however, include how has the Osun State Government utilized the two billion Naira it received?

“Stubbornly insisting on adding the sum to its 100 billion Naira Infrastructure plan is diversion of fund and it is as criminal as it is inhuman. We are also asking what the State Government’s additional palliatives are. Other States of the Federation are taking critical steps to reduce the hardship on their people.

“What is Osun doing? Provision of Imole De Buses is not palliative to the generality of Osun people.We are also asking the Osun State Government, what it is doing with the allocation windfall it is receiving from the Federal Government.

“When times are easier, Government should be seen taking deliberate steps to plan for tough days. What are we doing with the increased figures we receive today?We are also asking the Osun State Government, what is the State’s Agricultural Production plan? What is Osun State doing to achieve food sufficiency here in the State? Where is the Osun State Commissioner for Agriculture at a time like this? What is his Ministry doing?The Osun State Government, under Sen. Ademola Jackson Nurudeen Adeleke, must answer these questions and clarify what it is doing to ensure the State’s short and long term prosperity”.

“The group also urged the federal government to open borders and yield the calls for importation of food.

“To secure our long term prosperity however, the Federal Government must now stimulate export and local manufacturing, including local refining of our crude oil.

“To arrest the skyrocketing price of commodities, the Federal Government must make temporary and permanent plans that may include importation of food (starting from the reopening of our borders) in the short term and massive investment in local food production, as a long-term measure. Government cannot stubbornly insist on disallowing food importation when we obviously are not producing enough to feed ourselves. Let us gradually phase out food importation, not attempt a drastic end to it.