Varsity Don Seeks Equivalent Of President, Governors’ Salary For Judges

Phil foden

Federal and sub-governments have been urged to increase the remuneration of judges and others presiding over lower courts to be at par with those of the president, governors, and others holding top elective positions.

The provost, College of Law at the Afe Babalola University, Ado-Ekiti (ABUAD), Prof. Tunde Yebisi, who gave the suggestion also said that Nigeria may not develop democratically if serving judges are not exempted from presiding over election matters in the country.

Yebisi spoke yesterday at the 13th Aare Afe Babalola public lecture, instituted by the Ado-Ekiti branch of the association, in honour of legal icon, Afe Babalola (SAN).

The professor of law in the lecture, titled, “The Judiciary, Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow”, suggested that such the advocated remuneration should be a continuous charge on the Consolidated Revenue Fund, and disbursed, payable directly from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The university don counselled that services of retired judges, or respectable lawyers, preferably Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) should henceforth be engaged to serve as judges of electoral panels, said such will reduce incidences of coerceness, intimidation, bribery and corruption in the system, as well as address dearth of judges in the functional service

While calling for the employment of more judges, he said a few available ones should be put into effective use, in order to address  delays in the administration of justice.

“The senior members of the Bar, especially those who are young should be encouraged to join the bench, while modern IT facilities should be installed in the courts to facilitate quick dispensation of justice.

“Apart from encouraging or expanding the jurisdiction of the inferior courts to handle small claims, it is advised that not all cases should go beyond the Court of Appeal, and sometimes, the High Court.

He said, when judicial officers complained of attempts to bribe them, as was the case with the Chairman of the Election Petition Tribunal in Kano, such complaints should be thoroughly proved, and appropriate sanctions, imposed.

“In addition, assets declared by persons holding public officers should be taken more seriously, and claims meticulously investigated.”

In his address, Afe Babalola who appreciated the NBA branch for the annual honour, said, “It is my wish that even after my demise, this lecture will continue ad infinitum”.

Lamenting that Nigeria’s economy had been badly battered so much, the eminent lawyer said that lawyers, who were known to be comfortable financially before, are now living below subsistence level.

“This is more apparent in States that are landlocked, where most of the people rely on Agriculture for business. Lack of modern transportation system, deplorable roads, lack of electricity for business have also compounded the matter, the more.

“Today, those who believe in giving are less than those who want to receive, Farmers who want to plant are less than those who want to eat. Those who want to invest are far less than those who want to consume. Those who want to produce are less than those who want to consume.

“Those who want to establish businesses are less than those who are seeking employment. Those who want to engage in politics are more than those who want to work on their own. No wonder politics has become the most lucrative business in town today.


“Lawyers who want to go to the Bench nowadays are more than those who want to remain in practice. Lawyers who insist on consultation fees are less than those who insist on the time-honoured practice”, he said.

He advised the NBA committee in charge of the annual lecture, that a minimum of N50 million should be fixed in the bank to yield maximum interest to prosecute this annual lecture.

Babalola at the event announced a donation of N25million to be invested in a fixed deposit account to start the fund.

He also suggested that at each annual lecture, a minimum of N500,000 should be dedicated as scholarship to the Best Law Student from ABUAD, at the Nigeria Law School.

The chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Ado -Ekiti Branch, Mr Lawrence Fasanmi said Babalola’s immense contributions to the promotion of legal education and practice in the country, warranted the honour of the annual lecture, instituted during the administration of one of his predecessors, Mr. Owoseni Ajayi.


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