NBA demands appointment of more Supreme Court Justices

…condoles with CJN over fire incident

Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, has demanded the appointment of additional Justices to achieve the full complement of 21 Justices of the Supreme Court, as prescribed by Section 230(1)(B) of the Constitution.

It also commiserated with the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, over the fire incident at the Supreme Court complex

NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN, according to a statement, on Tuesday, by the association’s National Publicity Secretary, Akorede Lawal, has commiserated with the CJN, Justice Ariwoola, his brother Justices and staff of the Supreme Court over the fire incident at the Supreme Court complex on Monday.

Fire incident at the Supreme Court on Monday

According to the NBA President, the incident which reportedly affected the chambers of some Justices call into question the integrity and safety of courts’ infrastructures in Nigeria.

The NBA has therefore called for an investigation into the incident to forestall future recurrence.

Meanwhile, the NBA has demanded for the immediate appointment of additional Justices to achieve the full complement of 21 Justices of the Supreme Court, as prescribed by Section 230(1)(B) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

READ ALSO: PDP describes Supreme Court fire incident as suspicious

The NBA President made this call while giving his speech at the valedictory court session recently held in honour of Justice Amina Augie, JSC at the Supreme Court Complex, Abuja.

NBA President, Mr. Yakubu Maikyau, SAN

The NBA President expressed concern that the exit of Justice Augie from the Bench of the Supreme Court “has further reduced the number of Justices of this Court, with the attendant increase in the workload of the already overworked/overburdened and, unfortunately, poorly remunerated justices.

The NBA President noted that it has become imperative that the Nigerian Constitution be amended to increase the threshold for the number of justices to be appointed to the Supreme Court and to reduce the number of matters that get to the Supreme Court by limiting the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court to certain constitutional matters.

Giving update about the NBA’s engagement with the Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMAFC, and the National Judicial Council, NJC, over the remuneration of judicial officers, the NBA President stated that President Bola Tinubu, has directed a presidential working group to harmonise the recommendations from RMAFC, NBA and NJC, with the view to include the outcome in the 2024 budget appropriation.

Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola

He added that the NBA has also proposed a new set of allowances in recognition of the peculiar demands of judicial office holders which include: Lifestyle Allowance, Dual Responsibility Allowance, Frequent Transfer Allowance and Long Service Allowance. Mr. Maikyau further noted that the NBA has recommended the delinking of judicial remuneration from that of the civil service, in order to strengthen the perception of judicial independence and to provide the necessary safeguard and reassurance to judicial officers.

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Mr. Maikyau described the retired Justice Amina Augie as an exemplary jurist “who deftly combines knowledge and integrity with the right demeanour and discipline characteristic of a judge; a thorough and disciplined jurist, counsel appearing before my lord from his days in the magistracy must be prepared to answer straight and probing questions.

Retired Justice Amina Augie of the Supreme Court

He remarked that “Justice Augie is an example of Nigerian women who are making important strides, breaking boundaries, challenging masculine domination of places of influence and authority and setting the stage for more women to rise to positions of authority within the judiciary and elsewhere.

Justice Augie was sworn in as Justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria on November 7, 2016. His lordship retired upon clocking the statutory retirement age of 70 on September 3, 2023.

Justice Augie retired having served on the bench from the magistracy to the Supreme Court bench in a judicial career spanning 35 years,” the statement added.

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