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House Committee summons ministers over judicial officials’ low pay

Parliamentary Inquiry Seeks Solutions to Long-standing Grievance Raised by Retired Supreme Court Justice

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The House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary has issued invitations to key government officials and stakeholders to address concerns surrounding the inadequate remuneration of judicial officers across Nigeria.

Scheduled for Monday, March 25, 2024, the meeting will bring together figures including the Ministers of Finance, Budget, and National Planning, as well as the Secretary of the National Judicial Council. Also summoned are representatives from various bodies such as the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission, and the Nation’s Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission. Additionally, prominent legal figures like the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, along with the President of the Nigeria Bar Association, are expected to participate.

The committee’s action follows revelations made during a valedictory court session by retired Justice Musa Dattijo of the Supreme Court. Justice Dattijo highlighted the disparity in salaries between justices and administrative staff, revealing that justices earn significantly less than the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court, a situation he described as unjust and embarrassing.

In a letter dated March 18, 2014, titled “Case for upward review of judicial remuneration,” the committee underscored the urgency of the matter, referencing submissions from the Nigerian Bar Association advocating for a review of judicial officers’ remuneration and conditions of service.

Chairman of the committee, Oluwole Oke, emphasized the need for a thorough examination of the issue, citing concerns over the stagnation and poor remuneration of judges and judicial officials since 2008. Oke described the situation as abnormal and unacceptable, signaling the committee’s determination to address the long-standing grievance.

The parliamentary inquiry seeks to foster dialogue among stakeholders and formulate solutions to rectify the disparities in judicial remuneration, ensuring fair compensation for the crucial role played by judicial officers in upholding justice and the rule of law in Nigeria.

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