The Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo has advocated a better payment structure and welfare package for workers in the country’s judiciary system.
Osinbajo who spoke on Tuesday at the Justice Sector Reform Summit 2022 said judges and other judicial workers should work under the best conditions due to the sensitive nature of their duties.
He argued that there is no justification for federal lawmakers to earn more than judges in the country.
Speaking against the background of the summit theme; ‘Devising Practical Solutions Towards Improved Performance, Enhanced Accountability And Independence In The Justice Sector,’ the Vice President was quoted by his spokesperson, Laolu Akande to have identified the establishment of a solely merit-based judicial selection and promotion process; a new approach to judicial budgeting and funding and the all-important question of judicial remuneration and welfare as some critical factors that must be addressed to guarantee a better judicial system in Nigeria.
Akande in a statement titled, ‘We Must Rediscover Attributes That Made Nigeria’s Judiciary High-Calibre In Africa – Osinbajo’ quoted the Vice President as saying: “Also, while we ask for the best from our judicial officers, we must equally ensure that the conditions under which they operate are not only befitting but are good enough to attract the best of minds in our profession. Judicial remuneration and welfare are critical.
“Why should a judge earn so much less than a federal legislator? There is no basis for it whatsoever. We should in fact benchmark without necessarily creating fresh new legislation because the Legislature doesn’t have any legislation about their own salaries.
“If we benchmark what a federal judicial officer/Court of Appeal Judge earns to what a House of Representatives member earns, you’d find a startling difference. If you benchmark a Supreme Court Justice to what a Senator earns, you’d notice the difference. If we start that quick process now, we would not have to go through the rigorous process of legislation. We would just benchmark the salaries even if we are going to call it allowances.
“The truth of the matter is that the responsibilities of the judge or justice of the Supreme Court/Court of Appeal are such they must be well remunerated. They are such that when they retire, they must be able to go to homes that they own in decent places where they live. That’s the way it should be. We shouldn’t have a situation where judges are anxious that when they retire, they won’t have homes to go to, because their salaries today can’t build anything decent. We must ensure that these are the conditions that are met.
“We must strengthen the processes of reviewing performance, incentivising excellence, and penalising misconduct.”
Appeal Court Declines Oyetola’s Request To Move Tribunal To Abuja
The Appeal Court in Abuja has rejected Governor Gboyega Oyetola’s request to relocate the sitting of the tribunal to Abuja.
The Chief Registrar Court of Appeal, Bangari Umar, in a letter titled: RE: PETITION NO, EPT/OS/GOV/01/2022, ADEGBOYEGA ISIAKA OYETOLA & ANOR V. INDEPENDENT NATIONAL ELECTORAL COMMISSION & 2 ORS, on Friday rejected the proposal of Oyetola, the All Progressives Congress (APC)’s candidate in the July 16 governorship election.
According to the note, Oyetola on August 23, wrote to the President of the Court, Justice M.B Dongban Mensem, on the subject matter.
The Court of Appeal noted that after due consultation on, and consideration of Oyetola’s request, the President of the Court was unable to accede to the proposal as the security agencies in the state have assured the Court of their cooperation and support in enhancing the security of the Tribunal and its sittings.
The letter read: “Kindly refer to your letter to the Hon. President of the Court of Appeal, dated 23rd August 2022 on the above subject matter.
“I am directed by the Honourable President, Hon. Justice M.B Dongban Mensem to inform you that after due consultation on, and consideration of your request to move the Osun State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal currently sitting in Osogbo to Abuja, the Hon. President is unable to accede to your request as the security agencies in the State have assured the Court of their co-operation and support in enhancing the security of the Tribunal and its sittings.”
Appeal Court Sets Aside N20bn Damages Awarded to Sunday Igboho
The Appeal Court in Ibadan on Tuesday has set aside N20 billion damages awarded to Sunday Igboho last year after the violent invasion of his residence in Ibadan.
Adeyemo had gone to court challenging the action which led to the death of some of his aides.
In its sitting, the Court of Appeal sitting in Ibadan nullified the judgement of an Oyo State High Court which awarded N20 billion damages to the Yoruba self-determination activist, popularly known as Igboho.
Delivering the judgement in an appeal filed by the Attorney General of the Federation, State Security Service and Director, State Security Service in Oyo State, Justice Muslim Hassan held that Justice Ladiran Akintola, who delivered the judgement on September 17, 2021, acted on the wrong principles of law in awarding the cost to Igboho.
He said that Justice Akintola can’t assess damages claimed by Igboho using his own conceived parameters.
Justice Hassan thereby set aside the earlier judgment which declared the attack on the house of Yoruba nation agitator, Sunday Adeyemo illegal.
The court also nullified the N20 billion exemplary and aggravated damages awarded against the Department of State Security (DSS) for the attack, describing it as outrageous.
Justice Hassan held that the Oyo High Court ignored the merit of the case while assuming jurisdiction, adding that the judge should not have awarded damages based on his personal parameters.
Court Denies Abba Kyari Bail for the second time, Fixes October 19 For Trial
The Federal High Court in Abuja has fixed October 19, 20 and 21 as the trial dates for the embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and four others.
Justice Emeka Nwite fixed the trial dates in his ruling on Tuesday in Abuja.
He equally declined to grant bail to suspended Deputy Commissioner of Police, Abba Kyari and four others.
They are being prosecuted by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) on allegations bordering on a cocaine deal.
Kyari was arraigned alongside four suspended police officers including ACP Sunday Ubia, ASP James, Inspector Simon Agirigba and Inspector John Nuhu as 2nd to 5th defendants respectively.
Ruling on the bail application, Justice Emeka Nwite said the applicants failed to present sufficient materials and evidence to warrant the granting of the fresh application.
Justice Nwite, therefore, reaffirmed his earlier ruling of March 28, 2022, ordering an accelerated hearing.
According to the judge, Kyari and his other co-applicants did not show exceptional circumstances to warrant them being granted bail.
This is the second time the court would reject Kyari and others’ bail applications, having earlier turned down a similar request in April this year.
Meanwhile, the suspects are to be remanded at the Kuje Correctional Centre in Abuja, pending the commencement of their trial in October.
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