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HomeGistNigerians will suffer if judges are underpaid – CJN

Nigerians will suffer if judges are underpaid – CJN

Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, has said that Nigerians would bear the brunt if judges are not paid well.

Speaking at a hearing organised by the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters to discuss the proposed increase in salaries and allowances of judicial officers in the country, Ariwoola, who was represented by the Chief Judge of Borno, Kashim Zannah, stated that the demand for a review of judicial officer’s salaries is in the interest 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.

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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.

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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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