The national body of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria has dissolved the Osun State leadership of the union and replaced it with a three-man caretaker committee.
The Osun JUSUN, under the leadership of Gbenga Eludire, had since November 22, 2023, declared an indefinite strike, leading to the paralysis of judicial activities in the state.
Eludire directed the Osun court workers to proceed on strike after policemen on November 22 teargassed JUSUN members, who had begun a protest and picketed the state high court in Osogbo, from physically assaulting the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Adepele Ojo, whom they accused of abuse of office and high-handedness.
The protest by the court workers came amid the move by Governor Ademola Adeleke’s government to suspend the Chief Judge and appoint the next most senior high court judge as acting CJ, a move that was rejected by the National Judicial Council.
The national JUSUN had in a statement in November dissociated itself from the strike embarked upon by the Osun chapter, warning that the association would not lend itself as a weapon in the hands of politicians “to settle any perceived or real political scores.”
However, the chairman of Osun JUSUN, Eludire, insisted that the strike would go on regardless of the position of the national body of the union.
Even after the NJC rejected the request by the state government to suspend the Chief Judge, Eludire insisted that the strike would continue until Osun court workers’ demand for better welfare was met.
On Monday, a prominent JUSUN leader in Osun State, who did not want to be named, told our correspondent that the national leadership of the union had sacked the Eludire-led exco.
According to him, the move is to allow for the resolution of the months-long crisis in the Osun State judiciary.
The PUNCH reports that a delegation of JUSUN national leadership visited Eludire in December. Rising from the meeting, Eludire said his tenure, which was coming to an end, had been extended indefinitely to enable him to complete the struggle for better welfare for Osun court workers.
But the prominent Osun JUSUN leader, who spoke to our correspondent on Monday, said, “The tenure of Eludire executives was extended, but after weighing some other options before it, the national secretariat agreed that the executives should be dissolved.”
He said a three-man caretaker committee had been raised to take over and administer the affairs of the Osun JUSUN for three months.
“The three-man caretaker committee is led by Mr Rasaq Lawal, and it is expected to swing into action and resolve the issues that led to the strike as quickly as possible,” the JUSUN leader said.
Efforts to reach Eludire failed as calls to his mobile line rang out, and he had yet to respond to a text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report.
The chairman of the three-man caretaker committee, Lawal, confirmed the dissolution of Eludire’s executives to our correspondent.
Lawal said, “We are in a critical time. The last executives have been dissolved by the national body and a caretaker has been put in place and a letter to that effect has been sent to us.
“I have been nominated as the chairman of the caretaker committee and we have other two members as well. The caretaker position would last for the first three months after which there can be an election.
“We will be there for that three months to put things in place.”