The Governor of Abia State, Alex Otti, has taken the initiative to disburse salary arrears, spanning a period of eight years, to judiciary workers within the state.
In a statement made by the Chief Press Secretary for the governor, Kazie Uko, it was revealed that Otti has commenced the process of disbursing the long overdue salary arrears to judiciary workers.
These workers have been owed since January 2015, and had previously engaged in an indefinite strike against the previous state government. However, following Otti’s assumption of office on May 29, the strike was called off.
Uko stressed that the workers had multiple demands, including the confirmation of Justice Lilian Abai as the substantive Chief Judge, who had been serving in an acting capacity for over six months.
Additionally, their demands encompassed the settlement of arrears under the Consolidated Judiciary Staff Salary Structure, resolution of leave allowances, and the establishment of judicial autonomy.
The statement highlighted that the previous administration had only addressed one of the four demands, which was the confirmation of the Chief Judge. Governor-elect Otti, however, pledged to fulfill this promise after his inauguration.
Otti’s intervention and commitment to resolving the outstanding salary arrears prompted the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Abia State Chapter, to end their strike in June 2023.
According to the governor’s spokesperson, the Abia State Government has fulfilled its promise by initiating the payment of consolidated salary arrears to JUSUN members.
Oracle Chinedu Eze, the union leader, expressed appreciation to Governor Otti and the state government for honoring their commitment to salary payments.
In a message to the Abia State Governor through the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Ikechukwu Uwanna, Eze reportedly wrote, “It is with a grateful heart full of joy and happiness that I, on behalf of the entire Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria members and executives, wish to inform and appreciate you for the first batch of the CONJUSS arrears paid yesterday (November 15, 2023). Sir, we are most grateful and thankful, sir. May Almighty God bless you mightily. Amen and remain lifted.”