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Alleged Debt: Court Dismisses Judiciary Workers’ Suit Against Edo Govt

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A Federal High Court in Abuja has dismissed the suit filed by the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria against the Edo State government.

In the suit, the union urged the court to freeze the account of the state government over alleged refusal to obey a court order asking the state to offset the seven months salary arrears owed its members since 2015.

It asked the court to enforce the judgment of a Federal High Court which ruled in their favour.

Ruling on the application on Thursday, Justice Okon Abang explained that the suit was filed in bad faith with the aim of crippling the activities of the state government, a few weeks to a major election.

He insisted that the union adopted a careless and nonchalant approach to enforce the judgment secured since January 2014, having failed to take steps to enforce.

A map of Edo State.

The judge questioned why the union surreptitiously approached the court during a vacation to have the entire accounts of the state frozen without stating the exact amount allegedly owed the workers.

While dismissing the suit, he described the action of the applicant as a gold-digging exercise, adding that it was speculative and laced with ulterior motive aimed at satisfying the interests of members of the union to the detriment of the state.

Members of the union had joined their counterparts in the 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in 2014 to protest over the alleged failure of the state governments to grant autonomy to the judiciary.

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