NJC condemns non-payment of judges’ retirement benefits, gratuities

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In strong terms, the National Judicial Council ( NJC) has condemned the refusal of state governments to pay retirement benefits to judges.

This is contained in a statement by Soji Oye, the NJC’s director of information, on Thursday.

The NJC described the actions of the affected States as worrisome and condemnable in all ramifications.

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The condemnation came at the end of the council’s meeting presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola. The council asked the defaulting states to belt up in the discharge of their legal obligations on payment of the retirement benefits to judicial officers.

“The NJC, under the chairmanship of Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, at its 100th meeting held on Thursday, deliberated on the worrisome situation whereby many Judicial Officers of the States are being owed their retirement benefits, including severance pay/gratuity and pensions,” the statement explained.

It added, “After due consideration, council condemns in very strong terms this act, which is undermining the Rule of Law and Section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999. It, therefore, calls on the offending states to ensure that all entitlements of retired judges are fully settled forthwith.”

The NJC directed chief judges to file “reports on compliance to reach the council not later than 1 April 2023.”

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