NBA decries poor state of infrastructure in courts

The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Benue branch, has decried the poor state of infrastructure in most Nigerian courts, blames it on poor funding of the sector

This is contained in a statement signed by NBA branch Chairman, Mr Justin Gbagir, on Tuesday in Makurdi.

He said the NBA was in support of the ongoing strike embarked by the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN).

”The entire infrastructure in the judiciary sector across the country are in a state of disrepair. The general welfare of judicial officers is humiliating across the states of the federation.

”Governors must obey the 2014 landmark judgment which unequivocally confirmed the autonomy of the judiciary in line with the spirit and letters of the Nigerian Constitution.

“It is against this background that the NBA Makurdi Branch identifies and support JUSUN for embarking on this strike which seems to be the only language that our governors seem to understand.

“It is our belief that Gov. Samuel Ortom who is a listening and progressive governor will again take the bold step to be the first among his equals to observe and implement the constitutional provisions ensuring the independence of the judiciary, and we so urge”.

The chairman said that there was every need for the immediate review of the emoluments of judicial officers especially those at the senior courts whose salaries had not been reviewed upward in the last 10 years.

“There is need to take urgent steps to improve on the welfare of judicial officers in view of the critical role of the judiciary in safeguarding the nation’s democracy.

”There is no gain saying that judges do important and extremely sensitive work. Yet, there has been no corresponding improvement in the welfare of judicial officers as a result of more none adherence to the constitutional provisions on the financial autonomy of the judiciary,” he said.The News Agenct of Nigeria (NAN) reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had on May 22, 2020, signed into law an Executive Order granting financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary across the 36 states of the federation.

The Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, made it mandatory for all states to include the allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in the first-line charge of their budgets.The order also mandates the accountant-general of the federation to deduct from source amount due to the state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation to each state,

for states that refuse to grant such autonomy.JUSUN on April 3 issued a circular ordering the closure of courts across the country from April 6, as a measure to ensure an implementation of the order.   (NAN)