By NWOGHA NDUBUISI ANDY, Abakaliki
The Law officers Association of Nigeria, Ebonyi state Chapter on Tuesday, boycotted all government cases and court activities for an alleged poor condition of services and inability of state government to respond to the welfare of members.
The learned men insisted that no member of the association would participate in any government case unless they look into the welfare of members.
In a visit to the ministry of Justice, Centenary city Abakaliki, many lawyers were seen in their various offices doing little or nothing as regards to carrying out their official functions in various courts in different parts of the state.
In an interview with the chairman of the association in Ebonyi state,Barr.Ogbuefi Ndubuisi Complained bitterly over the poor welfare of members in Ebonyi state, saying that their members had been marginalized so much and deprived of all their entitlements.
He alleged that over the years, government had not been able to harmonize their salaries and allowances, adding that the salary of a Margistrate in the state is far higher than what the are giving monthly.
Ogbuefi further noted that margistrates in the state have been receiving Harzads allowances including minimum wage but the law officers in the state have not been part of any hazard allowances nor minimum wage which their colleagues have been enjoying.
According to him:”We want our condition of service to be improved like that of a margistrates.
“They have been receiving hazard allowances and minimum wages but nothing has been given to us, even when we have written to government.
“In our offices now,we have only 33 lawyers handling government cases from margistrate court to supreme Court.
“What pains me most is that we are now using our money to run official activities for government;we are now using our money to transport ourselves including our clients.
“We do pay even court baliff to go and serve notices for government cases. He further said
“We have been suffering like this for long and could no longer bear it anymore”,Ogbuefi Lamented.
He, therefore,called for government to urgently intervene in the matter and implement the circular already issued by government before now for the welfare of members.
Also speaking on the matter,the Chief State Council who is also the Assistant Secretary of the association,Barr.Nwanneka Chukwuba added that the association has written to government long ago to improve their condition of service and welfare of members but all to no avail stating that the 7-days notice giving to government elapsed yesterday being 8th March,2021.
“Goverment needs to pay us allowances that will cover the expenses we made in the course of discharging our official duties.
“We are representing government in various court both within and outside the state yet nothing has been done about the welfare of our members.
“We gave them one week notice to look into the matter which expires yesterday being 8th March and that is why we have decided not to go out of our offices to carry out government activities.
“We are not going anywhere until government resolves this matter,”she said.
When Contacted,the commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Ebonyi state,Barr.Cletus Ofoke to react on the matter,it proved abortive since he did not respond to his phone calls.