Enhancing Judicial Independence: Senate to Hold Public Hearing on Judges’ Salaries today

The Senate is set to commence a public hearing on the upward review of judge’s salaries, allowances and fringe benefits for judicial officers nationwide.

Our correspondent sighted on Sunday, the Senate’s notice of public hearing marked NASS/S/CJHL/024 10th Sen/2024/01, addressed to the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi (SAN).

The letter dated May 14, 2024, informed the AGF to be prepared to make a presentation to the Senate and the general public.

The letter, which was signed by the Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Mohammed Monguno, read: “The Senate, at its Plenary Sitting, considered the judiciary officers (salaries and Allowances etc.) Bill 2024, and referred same to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters for further legislative action.

The committee in furtherance of its mandate held a series of meetings and for further consultation resolved to conduct a public hearing with a view to eliciting comments/viewpoints on the bill from stakeholders and members of the general public. In this regard, I hereby forward to you, on behalf of the committee, a copy of the bill for your comment and suggestions, if any ahead of the public hearing.”

According to the notice, the hearing will hold today (Monday) at 12 pm.

The House of Representatives had passed a bill that was sent to it by President Bola Tinubu, for the upward review of salaries, allowances, etc., for a third reading.

Based on the provisions of the bill, judges are to get over 800 per cent pay rise, as the Chief Justice of Nigeria is to earn N64.6m annual basic salary and allowances, far higher than what is obtained currently.

Other Justices of the Supreme Court are to earn annual basic salaries and regular allowances of over N60m annually.

The development received the backing of various Senior Advocates of Nigeria, as they insisted that well-remunerated judicial officers would be less susceptible to corruption.

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