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House of Reps probes allegations of poor judges’ salaries



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The Nigerian House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary has summoned the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, and the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC), to appear before them.

The purpose of the summons is to address concerns regarding the allegedly inadequate remuneration of Nigerian judges.

Also invited to the meeting slated for Monday, March 25, 2024, are the National President, Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, the Chairman, Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, the Chairman, Nation’s Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice as well as the President, Nigeria Bar Association.

The lawmakers argued that poor remuneration for judges could leave them vulnerable to corruption and compromise the integrity of the judiciary.

The House committee, in its letter dated March 18, 2014 and titled “Case for upward review of judicial remuneration,” said it also received complaints about judges salaries from the Nigerian Bar Association.

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The letter signed by the committee’s chairman, Oluwole Oke, read: “The committee is in receipt of a submission by the NBA advocating a review of judicial officers’ remuneration and conditions of service.

“In view of the above submission, the committee wishes to invite you to a more robust interactive session with other stakeholders to review the submission and educate the committee on the current situation and plans to deal with the unrealistic salary structure of the judiciary and your position on the matter.”

The House Committee on Judiciary is expected to lead the investigation, questioning the invited parties about budgetary allocations for the judiciary and the factors influencing judges’ pay.

This development comes amidst ongoing concerns about judicial independence in Nigeria. Some legal professionals argue that low salaries make judges susceptible to external pressure and hinder efforts to attract qualified candidates to the bench.

The House of Representatives’ intervention aims to shed light on the issue and potentially lead to reforms that ensure judges receive competitive salaries commensurate with their critical role in the Nigerian justice system. The outcome of the investigation and any subsequent recommendations will be closely monitored by the legal community and the public at large.

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