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Underpaid Judges Could Hurt Nigerians, Cautions CJN Olukayode Ariwoola

Underpaid Judges Could Hurt Nigerians, Cautions CJN Olukayode Ariwoola

Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, cautioned about the importance of fair pay for judges, stating that it directly affects the people of Nigeria.

During a hearing organized by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters to discuss raising salaries for judicial officers, Ariwoola, represented by Chief Judge Kashim Zannah of Borno, highlighted that increasing judicial officers’ salaries is crucial for the well-being of Nigerians.

He said;

“When judges are well compensated, yes, they do their best. But actually, as clearly demonstrated, the real interest that is being looked at is the interest of these citizens because they will be the ones who suffer the consequences of a deprived judiciary.

“Distinguished senators, in a nutshell, what we are saying is this. The situation of judges across Nigeria is like one in a critical condition in the ICU. The beam, the schedule to the beam would stabilise the patient. The one captain in the appropriation door would have him moved from the ICU to the general ward.

“When a patient is in that condition, you don’t start physiotherapy at the ICU. You make sure he is stabilised, move to the general ward, gain some strength, and then you now look at physiotherapy and all other therapists. And that is the nutshell of our presentation that distinguishes senators as we have already exhibited.

“Do move quickly, move the patient out of the ICU to the general ward and then we will come. But for now, let us stabilise the patient, move him out of ICU and then we can talk about the rest later.”

Ariwoola also noted that the last review of judges’ salaries was in 2007, about 17 years ago. He added;

“And there are gaps, more gaps too, which we refrain from raising now in order to allow for the expeditious grant of the above prayer. Because judges across the length and breadth of Nigeria are expectantly enduring the pain on a daily basis and it is not wise to deal.

“The salaries were last reviewed in the year 2007. It has been 17 years earning the same amount despite the tumultuous depreciation in purchasing power. While other sectors have theirs renewed several times over the period, Judicial officers have been in silence.”

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