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Nigerian Supreme Court Judges Lament Poor Working Conditions, Write Protest Letter To Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad



Justice Tanko Muhammad 1_0

The apex court has been receiving N110 billion yearly since 2018 despite the increase in its size and responsibilities.

It was learnt that its annual budget was not always regularly cash-backed leading to non-provision of essential services for the Justices.
According to TheNigeriaLawyer, a source at the apex court said the problems, which were beyond the CJN, included delay in cash backing the budget of the apex court.
The main issues put forward by the justices in their letter through a welfare committee were; non-replacement of poor vehicles; accommodation problem; lack of drugs at the Supreme Court clinic; epileptic electricity supply to the Supreme Court; increase in electricity tariff; no increase in the allowances for diesel; lack of internet services to residences and chambers.
Others are; internal problems including non-signing of amended Rules of Court for almost three years; sudden stoppage of two to three foreign workshops and training per annum for Justices; and no provision of qualified legal assistants.
According to the source, “On the 24th day of March, 2022, the welfare committee submitted a report to request for review of electricity allowance because of the increase in electricity tariff nationwide.

“The welfare Committee also submitted our request for diesel allowance, because of the epileptic electricity supply, the astronomical hike in the price of diesel and the fact that Justices require electricity to work at home.
“Recently, the Chief Registrar served Justices with an internal memo, that electricity would be supplied to the Court between the hours of 8am and 4pm daily, for lack of diesel.
“The implication of this memo is that the Justices must finish their work and close before 4pm. With all due respect, this is the peak of the degeneration of the Court; it is the height of decadence, and clear evidence of the absence of probity and moral rectitude.
“This act alone portends imminent danger to the survival of this Court and the Judiciary as an institution, which is gradually drifting to extinction. The Judiciary is an arm of Government.

“The Supreme Court of Nigeria, just like the Presidential Villa and the National Assembly, is the seat of the Judiciary as an arm of Government. The implication of the memo is that this arm of Government is potentially shut down. May God never allow that day.
“The Committee also requested for the restoration of our monthly Internet allowance, because we require uninterrupted Internet service in order to have access to materials online to write our judgments.
“With regard to Justice’s vehicles, several are due for replacement, while the new Justices have not received their full complement of vehicles to date. Moreover, some of the vehicles supplied to the Justices are either refurbished or substandard,” the source added.
It was further revealed that the tension at the apex court has been lingering since March 23, and the CJN has formed a Welfare Committee to that effect.
On March 24, the committee submitted a list of demands by the Supreme Court Justices to the CJN.
Meanwhile, being concerned by the friction between the CJN and the Justices, the Emir of Lafia, Justice Sidi Bage Muhammad has intervened and appealed to the executive arm to address the challenges facing the Supreme Court Justices and the Nigerian Judiciary Arm.