The Osun Chapter of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has initiated an indefinite strike in the State Judiciary.
The decision was made in response to the police’s use of tear gas on the protesting workers and journalists at the High Court entrance located in the Oke-Fia area of the state capital.
On Wednesday, police personnel dispersed members of the JUSUN who were protesting against alleged abuse of office and high-handedness by Chief Judge Adepele Ojo, as she returned to her office.
Upon realizing that the CJ had entered the premises, the protesters, who had left the gate open, made their way towards where her vehicle was being parked.
Police operatives on the premises subsequently fired teargas to disperse the protesters and those at the scene ran in different directions.
Addressing journalists after the incident, the Chairman, Osun JUSUN, Gbenga Eludire, said, “Following the action of the police and attitude of the Chief Judge, I, Comrade Gbenga Eludire, hereby ordered that workers in the sector should withdraw their service till further notice.”
The chairman however condemned the alleged brutality act, describing it as barbaric.
According to him, “the union condemns the barbaric attitude of the Police in descending on its members by brutalizing them for no offence other than protesting peacefully to press home their demands.”
In a separate statement made available to newsmen, the Chairman further explained that “the Honourable Chief Judge came today in company of gun-trotting and fierce looking policemen who, apparently working on “an order from above” descended on our members, brutalizing them, tear-gasing them and chasing them away with sticks.
“Our demands are for an investigation into the rot in the Osun Judiciary under the Chief Judge, the high-handedness, corruption and abuse of office by the Chief Judge, and ultimately calling the attention of state government to the plight of some our of members who were unilaterally suspended and their salaries being diverted for over 57 months, and for an improvement in the general facilities and welfare of the judiciary in Osun State, In response, this is what the Chief Judge has now done to us.
“Since the Chief Judge doesn’t want to see our faces again as his lordship has failed to yield to our demands, coupled with the fact that the National Judicial Council is not doing anything, we hereby declare an indefinite strike action in the entire Osun State Judiciary pending when our demands will be met. We also call on the Commissioner of Police to investigate the head of the police team in the escort of the Chief Judge, who acted illegally by brutalizing our members.”