The refusal of the Judiciary arm of Kogi state Government to participate in the ongoing ‘table payment’ and pay parade in the state has taken a new direction as the Secretary to the State Government, Mrs Ayoade Folashade Arike has written to the State House of Assembly to provide guidance on the way forward.
In the letter transmitted to the State House of Assembly read by the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mathew Kolawole, the secretary to the state government revealed that she had written a letter on the 14th of November, 2018 informing His Lordship, Honourable Justice Nasir Ajanah, the Chief Judge of the state requesting for the state Judiciary’s payroll in preparation for table payment and pay parade exercise.
Dr. Arike stated that the Chief Judge however replied via a letter dated 16th November, 2018 declining the request on grounds amongst others that is derogates from the independence and autonomy of the Judiciary.
According to her, the stance of the State Chief Judge has negated the earlier stand of the State House of Assembly of encouraging civil servants working in the Legislature to participate in the exercise adding that the interpretation of the principle of separation of powers came to stipulate that Kogi State civil servants working in the Judiciary could not appear in their own workplace for the purpose of physical identification and collection of biometric data for the state integrated data base of its workers.
She revealed efforts made by her to the Judicial Service Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) in assuring them of priority attention enjoyed by the State Legislature and accord them same expeditious and respectful manner, but it was rebuffed.
Dr. Arike reiterated her commitment to the sanctity of autonomy of the three arms of government, however wonders how table payment and pay parade conducted for the purpose of sanitising and digitizing the state payroll could be a threat to it.
She concluded by appealing to Speaker and members to look into the matter and help provide guidance on the way forward.
The House resolved to set up a six-man committee headed by the majority Leader, Hon. Hassan Abdullahi to interface with the Judiciary and report back within a week.
Recall that the Judicial Service Union of Nigeria has embarked on strike over non payment of 6months salary. The non-payment of the salary is hinged on the refusal of the Judiciary to participate in the exercise.