Concerned by the poor remuneration of judges at all levels, the Nigerian Bar Association has met with the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), over the need for the government to, without further delay, review the take-home pay of judicial officers.
PUNCH gathered that the NBA’s committee on judiciary, led by the chairman, Babatunde Ajibade (SAN), visited the Attorney-General of the Federation and according to the National Publicity Secretary, Akorede Lawal, the visit is in furtherance of the association’s commitment to improve welfare package for judicial officers.
Speaking further on the NBA’s latest meeting with the AGF on the issue, Lawal stated that since last year, the NBA has submitted a memorandum to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission on the increment in judicial officers’ salaries and allowances.
“We have a very good relationship with the AGF and we have a lot of avenues to regularly engage with him on the administration of justice in Nigeria. The NBA president had taken the initiative even before it became a matter of public discourse. We have been in the vanguard of this advocacy since last year, and we submitted a memorandum to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission on the increment in judicial officers’ salaries and allowances.
“The NBA president chairs that committee of the NBA and we have already formally requested for about 300 per cent increase in the salaries and emoluments of judicial officers. The RMAFC peculiarly requested a memorandum from the NBA because of our campaign in this regard, and it was submitted last year. So, we have continued to engage them at different fora on the need to quicken that process.”
He added that if political officer holders could be going home with huge salaries and allowances, judicial officers should not be deliberately pauperized, noting that “in some countries, judicial officers and teachers are the best paid, but the reverse is what we have here.”