After judges’ pay raise, Ondo A-G, top lawmaker want Tinubu’s attention on dilapidated court buildings, others


Ondo State Attorney-General, Dr Kayode Ajulo, SAN and the Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on judiciary, Oluwole Oke (PDP, Osun) have appealed to President Bola Tinubu to address the infrastructural decay in the nation’s judiciary to enhance quick dispensation of justice.

In two separate statements by the duo, Friday, March 22, in Abuja, both Ajulo, SAN and Oke not only applauded President Tinubu and the leadership of the House of Representatives, Tajudeen Abbas, on the upward review of judges’ salaries but also reminded him that salary increase represents just an aspect of the overall judicial system crying for attention.

According to Ajulo, SAN, without doubt, “The current review holds the potential to yield numerous advantages for the effective and timely dispensation of justice.

“By offering increased salaries and enhanced allowances, the judiciary will become more enticing to exceptionally skilled and competent individuals. This will facilitate the attraction of talented lawyers and legal professionals to pursue a career within the judiciary, ensuring a pool of qualified individuals capable of handling legal cases.

“Appropriate remuneration can alleviate the financial burdens faced by judicial officers, thereby reducing the susceptibility to corruption or unethical conduct. When judicial officers are relieved of financial concerns, they can dedicate themselves more fully to their professional responsibilities and render impartial decisions based on the merits of each case.

“Equitable and competitive salaries, coupled with suitable allowances, can elevate the motivation and morale of judicial officers. Feeling valued and suitably rewarded for their work can augment job satisfaction, leading to heightened dedication, productivity, and a profound sense of pride in their profession.

“By providing better financial incentives, judicial officers can be shielded from external pressures or undue influences. When they enjoy a reasonable standard of living and are not susceptible to bribery or other forms of corruption, they can focus on upholding the rule of law and dispensing justice impartially.

“Enhanced financial resources can be allocated to the ongoing training and development of judicial officers. This will facilitate their professional growth, ensuring their familiarity with contemporary legal principles and practices. Ultimately, this will contribute to the effective and efficient handling of cases.

“It is essential to recognize that while salary and allowance reviews can be advantageous, they represent only one aspect of the overall judicial system.

“Other factors, such as infrastructure, case management systems, workload management, and administrative support, also play pivotal roles in ensuring the effective and timely dispensation of justice,” he added.

Oke, who represents Obokun/Oriade Federal Constituency of Osun state, said that with the new development, judicial officers are now better placed to deliver services to the Nigerian people.

When the bill is signed into law, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justices of the Supreme Court, President of the Court of Appeal and other categories of judicial officers will be entitled to improved monthly salaries as well as regular and non-regular allowances.

According to Oke, “The last time the salaries of judicial officers were reviewed was in 2007. So, we are glad that Mr President, the Speaker, and the Attorney General have heeded our plea and approved new salaries and allowances for them.

“With this, the nation can be assured of improved dispensation of justice because the welfare of the judicial workforce cannot be dismissed,” the statement read in part.

He however said that with the steps taken to address the welfare of judicial officers, the President should now focus attention on the infrastructure in the nation’s courts.

He said: “The decay in our court premises and residential quarters of our judges need to be looked into. The more we have better infrastructure, the better the readiness of our judicial officers to dispense services to society at large.

“The Court of Appeal is struggling with the management of off-season elections petitions. Tribunals have 20 cases currently ongoing and the judiciary itself does not have adequate manpower. They can’t recruit if they don’t have enough resources to pay them. So, we plead with our beloved President to look at this too”

He also appealed to the President to heed the yearnings of members of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria who have been agitating for better remuneration in the past few years.

He however tasked the Judiciary to continue to perform their job without fear or favour, even as he reminded them not to forget that they remain the representative of God on earth and the last hope of the common man.

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