By Our Correspondent
Governor of Cross River state, Senator Ben Ayade has said that the plight of the common people who have been remanded in prison custody for over eight months without trial and the fate of the young lawyers in Cross River whose practice has been checkmated for more than eight months due to the protracted industrial action by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), propelled him to seek an urgent solution to the problem.
The Governor said this after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the representatives of the judicial union in Calabar, Thursday.
The signing of the MoU was done in the Executive Chambers of the Governor’s Office by the Head of Service, Barrister Ekpenyong Henshaw on behalf of the State Government while the National Treasurer of JUSUN, Jimoh Musa Alonge, who represented the National President of the union, Mustapha Maruan Adamu signed on behalf of JUSUN.
Ayade expressed appreciation to members and leadership of the national and state chapter of JUSUN for their understanding and assured that he will keep his own side of the bargain, promising to set up a committee that will work out the modalities of implementing the provisions of the MoU.
“With the signing of this MoU, I owe you a responsibility, a duty to keep our own side of the bargain,” the governor said, adding that he has also received a letter from the staff demanding the implementation of the consolidated salary for judicial workers in the state which is still being studied.
Ayade said the signing of the agreement and subsequent suspension of the strike action by JUSUN represented victory for the common man and the law profession.
Speaking, the representative of the National President of JUSUN, Jimoh Musa Alonge, explained that the union was happy with the proactive step by governor Ayade leading to the signing of an MoU three months after assuming office as governor.
Alonge expressed strong confidence that governor Ayade who himself is a lawyer, will keep to his promise and the letters of the Agreement, just as he formally announced the suspension of the over eight months strike action and called on JUSUN staff to resume work as soon as possible.
It will be recalled that the judiciary workers union has been on strike for over eight months due to a protracted dispute over a court judgement delivered last year in favor of the union but which the government has refused to honor.
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