The Rivers State’s chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has criticized the car gifts to judges in the state by the Governor, Nyesom Wike.
NLC described the action as a misplaced priority, bribery and encroachment on judicial independence.
Wike, on August 3, handed over 41 sports utility vehicles (SUVs) to judges in the state’s Judiciary, as well as seven judges of the state origin serving in the Federal Judicial Service.
The NLC Chairman, Mrs Beatrice Itubo, while speaking on a radio station, Nigeria Info FM, Port Harcourt, on Wednesday, noted that the gifts came at a time when the government was complaining of the paucity of funds.
“They cannot pay gratuities to retirees, they cannot pay arrears of pension, and workers cannot be promoted. “The correct minimum wage has not been paid here in the state and all these are lingering issues.
“Unemployment is high in this state…and you have money to buy 41 SUVs. The amount for those vehicles can pay more than 200 retirees their gratuities. Honestly, I don’t understand what is going on in this state,” Itubo said.
The labour leader said she also questioned why in a space of three years, cars were given to judicial officers’ three times.
Those who are really working in the state’s Judiciary, who are not judicial staff, what has happened to them?
“Some of them have not been promoted for years.
“Some of them who are still on level 10 is supposed to be on grade level 16. Nothing is happening in that direction,” she added.