Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State has ordered the sack of the 30 magistrates in the state judiciary who protested against non-payment of their 24-month salaries.
The sack letter was announced by the acting chief judge of the state, Eyo Effiom Ita.
Ita, in a letter signed by the Chief Registrar, Edem N. Okokon, said they have been withdrawn from sitting in any courts till further notice.
The magistrates have not been paid since their engagement in February 2019.
The acting chief judge, whose tenure expires next week, also asked the 30 magistrates to stay at home, alleging that many of them have been involved in corrupt practices in order to survive.
The press statement claimed that the government regretted their employment, saying “there is no conscientious reason to have allowed you (magistrates) to work without pay for all the while..”
Last week, the magistrates had protested in front of the governor’s office for three days over non-payment of two years salaries.
The magistrates assembled at the governor’s office from the 18 local government areas of the state.
They wielded placards with inscriptions like “We have right to employment’’, “Magistrates in Cross River are thrown out of their rented apartments’’, “Ayade, pay us.’’
Speaking on behalf of the group, Solomon Abuo, Chief Magistrate to the government of Cross River, said the protest was their last resort.
Mr Abuo said they had continued to discharge their duties to the state government to date in spite of non-payment of their salaries.
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