Hope that the convicted Police Pensions Director might secure bail on Monday was dashed as the gates of the High Court that was to hear his bail application were locked as a result of a strike action.
The gates of the FCT High Court were locked while a conspicuous message was pasted on one of the gates with the bold inscription “Pay CONJUSS To Judiciary Staff”. Another notice was also pasted on the gate which notified workers that the strike action was as a result of the decisions reached at the special emergency meeting National Delegates Conference of JUSUN (Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria) in Minna, Niger State on March 5, 2013.
One of the decisions arrived at during the conference was that strike action should commence on Monday, 11 March 2013 and all members of the union are to remain at home till they are instructed otherwise by the union’s leadership. Street Journal found out that the strike is to press home the demand for the implementation of the Consolidated Judicial Salary Structure (CONJUSS).
Some workers were seen sitting down around the FCT High Court while some lawyers whose clients had cases scheduled for Monday morning arrived early only to find the court locked. Courts affected by the action include the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeal, the Federal High Court, the FCT High Court, the Customary Court, the Sharia Court and the National Industrial Court.
It will be recalled that John Yakubu Yusuf was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission on other fraud related charges including the failure to declare some of his assets. When he was arraigned on March 4, Justice Adamu Bello held that the accused person was not fit to continue with the trial as he slumped in the course of the day’s proceedings. While the next hearing was fixed for April 22, 2013, the hearing of the bail application filed by the Yusuf’s lawyer was fixed for March 11. The judge also ruled that the prison authorities should allow his personal physician access to him.
With the indefinite strike action embarked upon by the judiciary workers, Yusuf will remain in prison custody till the strike is suspended.