The Senate, on Tuesday, frowned at the alleged refusal by the Federal Government to pay some Federal Judges their four-month salary arrears.
Accordingly, two committees, Finance and Judiciary, have been mandated to investigate the claims and ensure that the salary arrears are paid promptly. The two committees are also expected to report back next Tuesday for further legislative action.
The decision of the Senate, followed a motion moved by the Deputy Leader of the Senate, Senator Bala Na’Allah. The motion came under Matters of Urgent National Importance.
Na’Allah, while speaking, said the non-payment of the Judges was unhealthy for the country. He urged his colleagues to intervene and act swiftly to ensure that incidences like this do not occur, going forward.
He said: “I am aware that some judiciary workers, especially judges have not been paid for about four months. I do not think this is good. I felt it is important for me to bring it to the notice of the Senate. We need to find a way to resolve this issue.”
Deputy President of the Senate, Senator Ike Ekweremadu who presided, said if the claims are true, there is an urgent need to guide against it in the future.
He said the National Assembly placed the judiciary on first line charge in order to guide against cases like this. Ekweremadu, while mandating the two committees to intervene on behalf of the Senate, said the refusal to pay Judges was inimical to the success of the ongoing anti-corruption war.
Ekweremadu said: “If it is true that judges have not been paid for four months, then it is very worrisome. The reason why we placed the judiciary on first line charge is to guide against things like this. The committee on Finance and Judiciary should within one week, look into the issue. They should ensure that the judges owed are paid within one week.
“This is not good for our judiciary. You cannot fight corruption if you do not pay people who disperse justice. This is unhealthy for the system. The two committees should speak with the relevant people. This is not good at all.”
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