The Lagos State chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has in an apparent backtrack revealed that the relaxation of the union’s ongoing strike in the state was proposed by the Lagos State government.
Members of JUSUN commenced a nationwide strike on 6 April over the non-implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary at the state level of government.
Shobowale Kehinde, Chairman of JUSUN Lagos, had in a statement on Thursday announced that the state chapter decided to partially reopen the courts on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday of every week due to the commitment it has secured from Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor of Lagos State, and the Chief Judge of Lagos State to meet its demands.
But in an interview later on Thursday, Kehinde stated that the idea of a partial suspension was a proposal by the Lagos State government, adding that it was subject to approval of the national body of JUSUN.
He noted that he lacks the power to suspend an industrial action convoked by the national body of the union.
“The strike is still ongoing in Lagos. I do not have such power to declare a partial suspension of the strike,” Kehinde told Premium Times.
“It is a proposal, and it has to be ratified and approved by the national body. It has been proposed, so it is the national body that will approve or disapprove. That is why I did not mention any date of commencement in my statement.
“When the government sends me to my national leaders, I will deliver the government’s message, and when my national leaders send me to the government, I will deliver my national leaders’ message.
“That is who I am in Lagos. I am the state chairman of the union. I am between the national leadership and the state government.
“So I deliver messages. That is what the state government wants, and I delivered it to my fellow comrades in Lagos and at the same time sent it to them at the national level for approval. So that is why you saw that I did not put a date for commencement.”
When asked if he had informed the national leadership of the union of the “proposal”, Kehinde said he always briefed the national body “on the daily occurrences in Lagos”.
He also gave an indication suggesting that the national body of the union had rejected the plan for a partial suspension of the strike.
“Well since they did not send me to you, but I know they have given me the answers and as you can see our courts are still closed. And my workers are still at home,” he said.