Review Nigerian laws to allow married women bear fathers’ names – MURIC tells FG

The Muslim Rights Concern, MURIC, has called on the Federal Government to review the Nigerian marriage laws with the aim of allowing women to bear their father’s names after marriage.

MURIC’s executive director, Prof Ishaq Akintola, made the call in a statement he issued on Monday.

Akintola is of the opinion that the current practice that permits women to bear only their husbands’ surnames is wrong, describing it as gender discriminatory, archaic, and oppressive.

He argued that it is unfair for a man who did not take part in the upbringing of a woman to suddenly surface and change her surname.

He said, “No woman dropped suddenly from the sky and even if some appear out of nowhere, they must have been born, bred, nurtured, and marmaladed by certain parents before they grew up and matured into womanhood.

“Their education was also sponsored by their parents at a time when the future husband probably knew nothing about them and spent no kobo on their upbringing and their education.

“It therefore beats logic, fairness, and natural justice that a husband appears out of nowhere to commandeer a woman’s parental identity simply by marrying her”.

He lamented that most educated women are forced to advertise their change of names in newspapers to retain the validity of their documents and properties obtained before marriage.

(Daily Post)

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Court gives ex-minister 30 days to apologise over reckless ‘Kangaroo judgment’ comment

The Federal Capital Territory High Court, on Monday, gave a former Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, Pauline Tallen, 30 days to tender an apology to the judiciary for describing a court judgment as a “kangaroo judgment.”

The court said Tallen risked being barred from holding any public office in Nigeria again if she failed to tender a public apology to be published in The PUNCH and The Guardian newspapers.

The verdict was handed down in suit number CV/816/2016 filed against her by the Nigerian Bar Association.

According to a statement on Monday by the NBA spokesman, Akorede  Lawal, the ex-minister criticised the court after the Federal High Court in Yola,  on October 14, 2022,  nullified the candidature of Aishatu Dahiru, alias Binani, as the governorship candidate of the All Progressive Congress in Adamawa State.

The suit against Binani was filed by Nuhu Ribadu, now the National Security Adviser.

Tallen was said to have described the court verdict in the case as “kangaroo judgment,” to the annoyance of the NBA, which dragged her before the court.

According to the NBA, Tallen made the statement during the Annual General Meeting of her alma mater, Federal Government Girls’ College, Bida on October 16, 2022.

The NBA spokesman said the court on Monday entered judgment against Tallen, describing her remarks as contemptuous and ordering her to tender a public apology within 30 days.

The NBA spokesman said,  “The High Court of the Federal Capital Territory found in favour of the Incorporated Trustees of the NBA and against the defendant, Dame Pauline Tallen, in Suit No: CV/816/2016.

“Consequently, the court declared that the said statement of Dame Pauline Tallen (the defendant) was unconstitutional, careless, reckless, disparaging, a call to disobey the judgment of the court, and therefore contemptuous of the Federal High Court of Nigeria.

“The court also granted, among other reliefs, an injunction restraining Dame Pauline Tallen (the defendant) from holding any public office in Nigeria, unless she purges herself of the ignoble conduct by publishing a personally signed apology letter to Nigerians and the judiciary on a full page of The PUNCH and The Guardian newspapers.

“The court ordered that the injunction restraining the defendant from holding any public office in Nigeria shall become perpetual if she fails to abide by the order directing her to publish an apology letter within 30 days.”

(Punch)

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NBA meets AGF over S’Court justices, other judges’ welfarism

Concerned by the poor remuneration of judges at all levels, the Nigerian Bar Association has met with the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), over the need for the government to, without further delay, review the take-home pay of judicial officers.

Sunday PUNCH gathered that the NBA’s committee on judiciary, led by the chairman, Babatunde Ajibade (SAN), visited the AGF a few days ago.

The National Publicity Secretary, NBA, Akorede Lawal, who confirmed the visit to one of our correspondents, said the effort was in furtherance of the association’s commitment to improved welfare package for judicial officers.

Lawal had in a previous interview with Sunday PUNCH noted that the association planned to write to the AGF on the areas that required reforms in the sector on Fagbemi’s demand when the NBA President, Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), and his team paid him a courtesy call after his inauguration as minister.

Lawal had said in a statement on August 19, “Fagbemi (SAN) expressed his appreciation to the NBA president and his team for the visit. He remarked that it gives him a lot of comfort knowing that he has the support of the bar. He then called upon the NBA president to present to the office of the attorney-general the NBA’s official position on law reforms and areas of improvement for the judiciary.”

It was gathered that one of the areas the NBA wanted swift reforms was the “poor” remuneration of judges, among other issues.

Speaking further on the NBA’s latest meeting with the AGF on the issue, Lawal stated, “We have gone beyond the letter. The Judiciary Committee of the Nigerian Bar Association, led by Mr Babatunde Ajibade (SAN), a few days ago met with the Attorney-General of the Federation on those concerns. A whole lot of work is going on formally and discussions are ongoing on how the executive can be part of the process.

“We have a very good relationship with the AGF and we have a lot of avenues to regularly engage with him on the administration of justice in Nigeria. The NBA president had taken the initiative even before it became a matter of public discourse. We have been in the vanguard of this advocacy since last year, and we submitted a memorandum to the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission on the increment in judicial officers’ salaries and allowances.

“The NBA president chairs that committee of the NBA and we have already formally requested for about 300 per cent increase in the salaries and emoluments of judicial officers. The RMAFC peculiarly requested a memorandum from the NBA because of our campaign in this regard, and it was submitted last year. So, we have continued to engage them at different fora on the need to quicken that process.”

He said if political officer holders could be going home with huge salaries and allowances, judicial officers should not be deliberately pauperised. “In some countries, judicial officers and teachers are the best paid, but the reverse is what we have here,” he added.

Wale Babalakin (SAN) had said at the valedictory court session for an Appeal Court judge, Justice Fatimo Akinbami, that the condition of service of judges was a disgrace to senior lawyers. He noted that something had to be done to address the situation, saying the fight for a good condition of service could not be left for the judges alone.

“It is a personal disgrace for every senior lawyer that the job is not developing, while judges do not enjoy good conditions of service. We can’t leave the fight to the judges alone. We are all guilty of this neglect and we must find a way to make it better. In a system where judges cannot meet their needs effortlessly, it shows that the system is not helping the judiciary,” Babalakin stated.

Judges salaries revealed

Meanwhile, based on the data collated from a document obtained from the website of the RMAFC, the Chief Justice of Nigeria earns about N560,662.16 monthly, comprising his basic salary and some allowances, while some others were not disclosed. The sum includes N280,331.04 basic salary, N70,082.80 as personal assistant allowance, N140,165.52 as hardship allowance, and N70,082.80 as outfit allowance.

Similarly, each justice of the Supreme Court and the President of the Court of Appeal earn about N908,273.67 monthly, comprising basic salary and some allowances. Findings revealed that the pay of the other justices of the apex court was higher than the CJN’s because the latter enjoys some exclusive benefits that were not monetised.

The justices’ monthly pay includes N206,425.833 basic salary, N154,819.375 as motor vehicle fuelling and maintenance allowance, N51,606.458 as personal assistant allowance, N103,212.917 as hardship allowance, N154,819.375 as domestic staff allowance, N92,891.625 as entertainment allowance, N51,606.458 as outfit allowance, and N30,963.875 as newspapers/periodicals allowance.

At the moment, there are 11 justices at the apex court as against the 21 recommended by the constitution. Many lawyers and stakeholders have called for an expedited action to appoint more judges to the apex court.

For the Court of Appeal, the judges earn about N731,657.66 monthly based on the figure provided for basic salary and disclosed allowances. These include N166,285.83 basic salary, N124,714.37 as motor vehicle fuelling and maintenance allowance, N41,571.45 as personal assistant allowance, N83,142.91 as hardship allowance, N124,714.37 as domestic staff allowance, N74,828.62 as entertainment allowance, N49,885.75 as utility allowance, N41,571.45 as outfit allowance and N24,942.90 as newspapers/periodicals allowance.

The website of the Court of Appeal showed that there were about 72 judges of the court, excluding the nine that were recently approved, making a total of 80.

The President of the Court of Appeal, Monica Dongban-Mensem, had on September 13 disclosed that she earned N206,425 monthly, while other justices on the bench of the Court of Appeal earned N166,285 monthly. She, therefore, appealed to the Federal Government for an upward review of judges’ salaries.

She noted that both in Africa and other Commonwealth countries, Nigeria ranked poorly in terms of salary structure for judicial officers.

For the Federal High Court, the Chief Judge earns the same amount as the justices of the Court of Appeal.

However, other judges of the court earn about N661,735 monthly.

Last year, the Federal Government said it would implement an upward review of salaries of judicial officers. The move came amid a campaign by the Maikyau-led NBA for an upward review of the salaries of judges.

In June, there were reports that the RMAFC approved the increase in the salaries of political office-holders, judicial and public office holders by 114 per cent, a move that was greeted with criticism.

However, the RMAFC Chairman, Mohammed Shehu, said the commission would do what was best for the country when reviewing the pay for politicians, judges and public officers.

Maikyau congratulates SAN-designates

Meanwhile, the NBA president on Saturday congratulated all the advocates and the sole academic who were confirmed for elevation as Senior Advocates of Nigeria by the Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee on Thursday.

A statement by the Publicity Secretary of the association said Maikyau also commended the LPPC under the leadership of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, “for the thorough and painstaking consideration of all applications and determination of the successful applicants for the year 2023.”

“The NBA president noted that the SAN rank is a continuous reminder to every legal practitioner that hard work and diligence are rewarding, even as he urged the SAN-designates to consider themselves as leaders of the legal profession and recognise the heavy expectations that the profession and society now have of them,” it added.

(Punch)

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My WAEC certificate with ‘Sadiq Abubakar’ not forged, Atiku reacts

The Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Atiku Abubakar has explained the discrepancies in his Senior School Certificate Examination, SSCE, certificate.

Atiku offered the clarification through Dele Momodu, one of his aides, on Tuesday in a post on his social media platform, X.

According to Momodu, the clarification became necessary following allegations of forgery against his principal by members of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.

Some members of the APC had questioned the name ”Sadiq Abubakar” in Atiku’s WAEC certificate as against his other credentials.

However, Momodu said he forwarded the accusations to the former Vice President, who also provided an answer for the discrepancy.

Momodu wrote, ”The APC busybodies have been bombarding me with allegations of forgery against my Principal, ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR (GCON), which I immediately forwarded to him and here is his copious response: ‘Yes I used Sadiq Abubakar to sit for my WAEC and after passing my exams I went to swear an affidavit to say I am the same person as ATIKU Abubakar. I went to ABU as Atiku Abuakar and passed my Exams as Atiku Abubakar. Interviewed as Atiku Abubakar by the Federal Civil Service Commission and hired into the Customs Service as Atiku Abubakar. So where is forgery there?’ – ATIKU ABUBAKAR

”CAN THE APC social media bullies forward the deluge of questions in circulation to their boss and get instant and direct response…
I SALUTE ALHAJI ATIKU ABUBAKAR…”

(Daily Post)

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CSU: I’m ashamed of lawyers, this public nonsense must stop – Agbakoba

The former chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Olisa Agbakoba, SAN, says he was ashamed to see lawyers on national television arguing the merits or demerits of President Bola Tinubu’s Chicago State University matter.

The senior lawyer expressed displeasure with what he described as the cacophony of discordant voices on Tinubu and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar surrounding the controversy over the CSU records.

Agbakoba warned that armchair lawyers are heating up Nigeria dangerously.

In a post on his social media platform, X, on Monday, the legal expert urged people to keep their opinions and views to themselves while awaiting a decision from the Supreme Court.

He said, “The cacophony of discordant voices on Tinubu/Atiku over the certificate matter is completely out of hand. This utter nonsense from armchair lawyers is heating up Nigeria dangerously.

“Please, can we keep our opinions and views to ourselves, awaiting a decision of the Supreme Court?

“I am so ashamed to see lawyers on television arguing one way or the other on the merits or demerits of the Chicago State University matter. This is most unhelpful!

“I call out all media that tolerate this nonsense of adjudicating the CSU matter on TV and newspapers.

“I urge the President of the Nigerian Bar Association to call out lawyers that breach rules of ethics by turning the media into a Court of Law.

“Can we please stop heating up our country!!! Let us allow the Supreme Court of Nigeria to make a judicial pronouncement which is binding on us all!!!! This public nonsense must stop.”

(Daily Post)

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