10th June, 2021
By Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt
Despite calling off its two months nationwide strike, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has directed the Accountant-General not to pay judiciary workers for the first week of June in which the ‘no work-no pay policy’ was in force.
In a press statement signed by Kelvin Ebiri, the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media, Wike however commended the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) for calling off its two months strike in the State.
It will be recalled that the State government had warned that it would enforce the ‘no-work no-pay’ policy if JUSUN in the State failed to call off the strike by 31st of May.
Wike, who hinged the State government’s decision not to pay JUSUN members for the first week of June on the union’s failure to heed the directive to resume work before 31st of May, reiterated that Rivers state has been implementing full financial autonomy of the judiciary and that the strike was therefore unnecessary in the first place.
The governor maintained that Rivers State Government would not set up any budget implementation committee because it is unknown to law.
“Rivers State government is in full support of financial autonomy of the judiciary and have been implementing same. We have stated it before that we are not going to set up any budget monitoring committee in the State because it is unnecessary.”
Wike explained that under a federal system of government, it is only the executive arm of government, at all tiers, that has the powers to present the annual budget to either State or National Assembly and also signed it into law.
He further asserted that Rivers State people are law abiding and would continue to insist that every action of government must be predicated on the rule of law.