Ex-lawmaker tasks FG on judicial welfare, appointment of S/Court Judges
Former Chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Judiciary in the 9th Assembly, Onofiok Luke has called on the federal government to appoint more judges of the Supreme Court inorder to fill in the gap existing in it’s number of judges.
He made the call in a congratulatory message to felicitate with the newly sworn in Judges of the Court of Appeal on Thursday.
He said, “I offer my congratulations to My Lords – Hannatu Azumi Laja-Balogun, JCA, Binta Fatima Zubairu, JCA, Peter Chudi Obiora, JCA, Justice Okon Efreti Abang, JCA, Asma’u Musa Mainoma, JCA, Lateef Adebayo Ganiyu, JCA, Jane Esienanwan Inyang, JCA, Hadiza Rabiu Shagari, JCA, and Paul Ahmed Bassi, JCA, – on their swearing-in as Justices of the Court of Appeal.
“These well-deserved appointments, which is as result of My Lords’ competence, hard work, dedication and steadfastness to the law, aptly came at the time Nigeria is in dire need of My Lords’ services. I am confident that My Lords will discharge their judicial functions creditably with their usual candour notwithstanding the daunting challenges facing the Judiciary in the country”.
He also called on the federal government to also improve the welfare of judges and all Judiciary officials to enable them discharge their duties.
Onofiok said, “The remuneration of judicial officers is quite poor and in total disparity with the economic realities. I wish to use this medium to draw the attention of the Federal Government to the many challenges the Nigerian Judiciary continue to grapple with on daily basis, which impact adversely on justice delivery and administration in the country.
“For several years now, there has not been any improvement on the welfare of judicial officers despite their increasing workload, whereas we entrust sensitive matters and issues into their hands, and we expect them to be above aboard and ensure justice is done in every matter before them even if the heaven falls. It is unfair, to say the least”.
The former lawmaker also called on the federal government to appoint more Supreme Court’s Judges saying that, there is a decrease in the number of judges of the Apex Court which is affecting it’s work.
He added, “With the sad demise of Hon. Justice Ngwuta, the number of justices of the court has again dropped to all-time low of 12 justices; making it 9 justices short of its full complement of 21 justices.
“The decrease in the number of justices of the court has taken a toll on justice administration and delivery as it has stalled determination of matters of great importance with adverse effects on businesses and transactions.
“Unfortunately, as it stands, the docket of the court is full and parties cannot have new dates for matters this year. The situation also impacts negatively on the physical and mental wellbeing of the justices of the court.
“It is in this vein that I urgently appeal to Federal Government to address the deficit on the Supreme Court bench by appointing new justices to the court for smooth, effective and efficient justice delivery”.
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