The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), has said that it is unfortunate and unacceptable for the federal government to owe judges in the country up to four months’ salaries.
The Secretary General of the NBA, Barrister Isiaka Olagunju stated this Sunday during a telephone interview.
However, the Deputy Senate Leader, Bala Ibn Na’Allah told our reporter on phone that the four months salaries have been paid.
The NBA scribe said the judiciary must be independent in all ramifications.
He said judiciary should not go cap in hand every month to the executive for payment of judges.
All workers, according to him, are entitled to their salaries and the NBA has since made its position known to the Presidency.
“We have men of integrity in Nigeria but who have not been compensated and they even find it difficult to pay their children’s school fees,” he noted.
The NBA scribe, however said that it would also be unacceptable for judges to accept bribe because their salaries have not been paid as that would amount to illegality.
He said that the NBA, in September last year, chronicled all the issues on the state of the nation and sought audience with the president but up till now there has been no reply.
He said there were several issues to discuss with the president, adding that neither the federal executive nor the legislature has been owed salary.
The NBA therefore called on the federal government to abide by the High Court judgment that gave financial autonomy to the judiciary.
Justice Adeniyi Ademola who is now being prosecuted for alleged corruption had delivered a judgment in which he affirmed the financial autonomy of the judiciary under the constitution.
In a judgment he delivered in January 2014, the judge restrained the federal government and the 36 states from holding on to funds budgeted for the judiciary.
Justice Ademola held that the workers had the right to ask both the federal government and the states to comply with the provisions of the constitution as they affected the funding of the judiciary.
Source: Daily Trust
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