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NGO demands probe into non-payment of election tribunal judges’ emolument, equipment whereabouts

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A non-governmental organization, Social Justice League (SJL), has called for an investigation into allegations that judges and other judicial officers who were part of the just concluded election tribunals nationwide have not received their allowances.

In a statement issued on Tuesday by its spokesperson, Salisu Ibrahim, the group also expressed fears that equipment used at the various tribunals might have been frittered away.
It said that a probe into the matter was in the interest of probity and accountability, adding that those items were still needed for subsequent election panels instead of wasting public funds at every election circle for new equipment.

SJL demanded that the President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa, be asked whether or not equipment including computers purchased and used by the tribunal members during the just concluded election tribunals were returned to the Court of Appeal as government property or not.

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The statement also alleged that “there is serious discontent in the judiciary, especially at the Court of Appeal over unpaid judges’ allowances, the disappearance of computers after tribunal sittings and religious bent in judicial administration, among other things.”

It said: “Several judges and judicial officers are grumblings over the non-payment of their allowances during and after the tribunal. Some of the judges are said not to be happy that their welfare during the sitting was poorly handled. They are grumbling that so many of them were lodged in small and poor maintained hotels.

“Some judicial officers who are afraid of speaking openly have been silently expressing their dissatisfaction with the President of the Court of Appeal, Honourable Justice Zainab Bulkachuwa over alleged non-payment of allowances approved for them.”

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