Appoint more S’Court justices, raise pay, NBA tells FG

The Nigerian Bar Association has demanded the immediate appointment of more Supreme Court justices to achieve the full complement of 21 justices stipulated for the apex court by  Section 230(1 )(b) of the constitution.

The PUNCH reports that with the recent retirement of Justice Amina Augie, the number of apex court justices dropped to 11.

A statement on Tuesday by the NBA National Publicity Secretary, Akorede Lawal, quoted the NBA President, Yakubu  Maikyau (SAN), as decrying the increased workload of Supreme Court justices who are only 11 as opposed to the required 21.

“The NBA President expressed concerns that the exit of Hon. Justice Augie from the bench of the Supreme Court has further reduced the number of justices of this court, with the attendant increase in the workload of the already overworked/overburdened and, unfortunately, poorly remunerated justices.

“The NBA President noted that it has become imperative that the Nigerian Constitution be amended to increase the threshold for the number of justices to be appointed to the Supreme Court and to reduce the number of matters that get to the Supreme Court by limiting the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to certain constitutional matters,” the statement read.

Maikyau said the NBA had been engaging with the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission and the National Judicial Council over the remuneration of judicial officers.

“The NBA President stated that President Bola  Tinubu has directed a presidential working group to harmonise the recommendations from RMAFC, NBA, and NJC, with the view to include the outcome in the 2024 budget appropriation,”  the statement added.

He added that the NBA had also proposed Lifestyle Allowance, Dual Responsibility Allowance, Frequent Transfer Allowance, and Long Service Allowance for judges in recognition of the peculiar demands on them.

Meanwhile,  Maikyau sympathised with the Chief Justice of Nigeria,  Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, over the Monday fire incident at the Supreme Court, which razed three offices and destroyed books and others.

(Punch)

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