The Judiciary And Strike Option

In every democratic society, the judiciary is not only seen as the last bastion of hope for the common man but is reverred as the pillar on which the temple of justice rests which should be accorded a place of pride in the scheme of things.
It is against this backdrop that the judiciary as an ancient institution, its men, materials needed for effective justice delivery deserve to be treated with respect and urgency befitting the status.
Indeed, the judiciary as a veritable shield against the tendency for societal ills, particularly the descent to the Hobbessian option characterized by nasty and brutish tendencies, deserves not only to be fully equipped but all the obstacles standing on the way of actualizing its goals should be frontally resisted by all well-meaning citizens.
Over the years, however, one of such obstacles on the way of the judiciary in Nigeria has been identified as lack of financial autonomy in the temple of justice, a situation which has the tendency of slowing down the wheel of progress in this vital organ of government and social engineering.
The re-enactment of the strike action by the Judiciary Staff |Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) in protest against the failure of the federal and some state governments to abide by a court decision in favour of financial autonomy has again brought to fore the unnecessary hardship, this ancient organ of government is grappling with in the country.
We find no plausible reason for some state governments’ refusal to comply with the judgment of a court of competent jurisdiction.
Indeed, this smacks of executive disregard for the principle of separation of powers as enshrined in the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended)
By virtue of the principle of separation of powers, funds meant for the judiciary as an organ of government should not be tied to the apron string of the executive or any other arm of government leaving the judiciary to go cap in hand begging whenever financial needs arise.
This is undemocratic and illegal, especially when a court of competent jurisdiction has in no unmistaken terms given eloquent expression to same.
The implication of muscle flexing on this matter is, without mincing words, a collateral damage to justice delivery system and our struggle and claim to democratic norms and values.
We, therefore, commend the Delta state government under the leadership of Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan for bowing to superior wisdom by being among the first to comply with the court order and approving financial autonomy for the state judiciary.
This is a clear demonstration of respect for the rule of law, the judiciary and a clear case of exemplary leadership. It is not too late for other state governments and indeed the federal government to borrow a leaf from the Uduaghan-led government.
The continued strike by JUSUN will definitely put the temple and tempo of justice in the country in comatose which is an invitation to lawlessness, absence of justice and inevitable rise in criminality without judicial remedies.
The earlier the affected governments comply with the court order on financial autonomy for the judiciary, the better for the society.