The Governor of Abia State Dr. Alex Otti has began payment of eight years salary arrears owed Judiciary workers in the state.
This is according to a report by ABN TV. The workers, who had been owed since January 2015, had embarked on an indefinite strike against the immediate past government in the state, to press home their demands, shortly before Governor Otti assumed office on May 29, 2023, chief press secretary to the Governor, Kazie Uko said in a statement.
They had demanded the confirmation of Justice Lilian Abai as the substantive Chief Judge of the state, after she had been on acting capacity for over six months. Also, they demanded the payment of the arrears of Consolidated Judiciary Staff Salary Structure, leave allowances, and judicial autonomy, the statement added.
However, out of the four demands, the previous administration was only able to grant one, the confirmation of the Chief Judge, and that was after the then Governor-elect, Dr. Otti, had declared that he would confirm Justice Abai, after being sworn-in as governor, the statement noted.
It continued, “The intervention of Governor Otti and promise to pay the outstanding salary arrears led to the calling off of the strike action by the workers, who associate under the aegis of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), Abia State Chapter, in June 2023.
“In fulfillment of that promise, therefore, the Abia State Government has begun payment of the consolidated salary arrears of the members of JUSUN, who have since confirmed that they have started receiving the arrears owed them.
“Consequently, the workers through their union leader and Chairman, Oracle Chinedu Eze, have expressed their gratitude to the Governor and government of Abia State for fulfilling the promise of salary payments.”
“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).”