President Muhammadu Buhari has approved an enhanced salary and welfare scheme for Nigerian judicial officers.
The president made this known on Friday, November 18, 2022, through the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami SAN during the official commissioning and handing over ceremony of Nabo Graham-Douglass Campus of the Nigerian Law School, Port Harcourt to the Council of Legal Education.
This is coming months after the National Industrial Court, Abuja ordered the Federal Government to commence the upward review of judge’s salaries.
Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae, had in a suit filed by several Senior Advocates, agreed with the claimant that it was unconstitutional for the executive and legislative not to effect a change in the salaries of judges for the past 14 years despite the high inflation.
She had ordered that the Chief Justice of Nigeria be paid N10m monthly, while his brother supreme court justices will have N9m monthly.
The President of the Court of Appeal, justices of the appellate court, Chief Judges of the Federal and States High Courts and judges of the Federal and States High Courts will get N9m , N8m,N8m and N7m monthly, as ordered by the court at the time.
It is unclear whether the FG will put the enhanced salary packages for judicial officials at par with the NIC judgment but the AGF said this directive and many other initiatives were targeted at significantly strengthening the capacity and independence of the judiciary, according to a statement by Malami’s spokesperson, Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu.
The president urged the judiciary to continue to uphold the ethics of their profession and operate with accountability and probity in the exercise of their judicial and administrative duties.
“This administration will, therefore, continue to support efforts to transform the judiciary, as part of a critical strategy, in ensuring a fair, progressive and prosperous society, with the rule of law as its cornerstone.
“The legal profession thrives on sound learning, ethical values, and good character; therefore, it is our abiding duty to sustain high standards for those on whose shoulders rest the future of both the bar and the bench,” he said.
The statement partly reads, ” Mr. President also commended the River State Governor Nyesom Wike and congratulated the people of the State, the Council of Legal Education, Nigerian Law and the entire justice sector family for the initiative, which he said culminated in the building and handing over of the new campus to the Council of Legal Education, Nigerian Law School.
He described as commendable the naming the newly commissioned campus after Nabo Graham-Douglas, SAN; former Attorney-General of Eastern Nigeria, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice of Rivers State and Attorney-General of the Federation. “