Striking members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) on Thursday prevented lawyers handling the matter of the All Progressive Congress (APC) in Oyo State to file a motion stopping the state from holding local government election in the state on Saturday.
According to the Nigerian Tribune, the striking workers picketed the court and refused to allow anyone enter. They locked everyone out in continuation of the strike and compliance with the instructions of its national body.
This is the first time that the union will embark on total compliance with strike action by locking out the Deputy Chief Registrar as well as Administrative judge who had never been locked out since the strike began.
Everyone was locked out and there were insinuations that this was done to stop the APC from filing its process as they were not allowed to enter the Court Premises at Ring Road, Ibadan on Thursday morning.
However, JUSUN has denied allegations that touts wore their branded shirts to lock the gates, adding that the union was responsible for the lockout to obey the instructions of its national body.
Investigation revealed that the JUSUN chairman in the state had travelled to Abuja to meet with the national body, but the Oyo JUSUN public relations officer, Obafunso Okulaja, was available and in an interview with Tribune Online, he confirmed that JUSUN locked the gates and not touts.
According to him, “it is not true that touts wore our branded shirts to lock the gate of the high court. I have been here in the court since 5.45 a.m and I was the one that locked the gate, no other person did and that is why I am still here. I am the JUSUN public relations officer, Oyo State branch.
“The gate was locked because we have been on strike for over a month now, agitating for our financial autonomy. The national working committee declared strike action and there was a meeting at the national level yesterday in Abuja and after the meeting, a communiqué was raised, mandating the strike must continue and it was on that strength that we are here again today to enforce total compliance of the strike.
“That is why we are here and our branded shirts were made available only to members of staff alone because they are JUSUN members; no shirt was given to any tout as alleged. We are still here for anyone that wants to confirm or verify that.”