There was a mild drama during a protest embarked by magistrates under the payroll of Cross Rivers State, following collapse of one of them, Magistrate Richard Bassey at the gate of Governor Ben Ayade.
Penpushing reports the magistrates numbering 30 in their full regalia embarked on a peaceful protest on Monday over unpaid 24 months’ salary, to appeal to the Governor, but the protest almost turned sour.
The incident occurred on Tuesday which was the second day of the protest, but the collapsed magistrate was revived by his colleagues after pouring water on him and took him to a nearby hospital.
Penpushing further reports that, the Chief Magistrate of Cross River, Solomon Abuo, speaking with journalists after the incident decried what he described as ill treatment meted to them by the state government.
The Chief Magistrate pointed out that since they were employed, they had undergone several screening, adding that the protest was their last resort, emphasisng that they would not relent in efforts to get their requests attended to by the government.
”We will continue to protest until we are paid. This is very embarrassing; in 2020 one of the Magistrates was arraigned before a fellow Magistrate over his inability to pay rent; most of us can’t pay our house rents and are squatting with colleagues. Is it wrong for one to serve the state as judicial officers, are we supposed to go through this kind of humiliation’, he said
Penpushing further reports that as at the time of filing this report and protest,no official of the state government addressed the protesters since the protest began on Monday, while the Acting Chief Judge of the State, Eyo Effiom-Ita said he was aware that the magistrates had not been paid for a long time.
The Chief Judge was quoted saying that different presentations had been made to the Governor, adding that, “the governor said he did not give clearance for their appointment, so, he will not pay them; until the governor changes his disposition, there is nothing anyone can do,’’.
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