Some Senior Advocates of Nigeria have backed the judgment by an Industrial Court in Abuja on Friday, which asked the National Assembly, the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the Attorney General of the Federation to urgently initiate measures to ensure the upward review of the salaries and allowances of judges in the country.
Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae, who issued the order, held that the current salaries and allowances of judicial officers in the country were not only abysmally low but embarrassing.
Obaseki-Osaghae gave the order while delivering judgment in a suit filed against the Federal Government by Chief Sebastine Hon (SAN).
She ordered the Federal Government to commence a monthly payment of N10m to the Chief Justice of Nigeria, N9m to other Justices of the Supreme Court, and N9m to the President of the Court of Appeal.
Also, other Justices of the Appellate Court will get N8m; Chief Judges of both Federal and States High Courts, N8m; while Judges of the Federal and States High Courts will receive N7m.
The judge held that the refusal of the government to review the judicial officers’ salaries and allowances for 14 years was unconstitutional, unlawful and should be compelled to do the needful.
Justice Obaseki-Osaghae lamented that it was unfortunate that justices and judges who were ministers in the temple of justice had become victims of injustice in the country.
Reacting to this judgment, Mr Ebun Adegboruwa, SAN, said the N10m salary for the CJN was ‘peanut’ and should have been reviewed even higher.
He said, “When you compare what senators and ministers are earning, I believe that the judgment is sound in law. Moreover, the Federal Government was given an opportunity to defend the case through the AGF. It is a judgment delivered on the merits and it should be implemented immediately.
“It is a great day for Nigeria, a great day for democracy and a great day for the rule of law and the application of justice in Nigeria generally. When you look at the gargantuan corruption that has eaten deep into the Nigerian system, the N10m to the number one judicial officer in our land is peanut.