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Improving Judges’ Welfare FG’s Agenda, Says Malami

The Federal Government, on Monday, said improvement in the remuneration and conditions of service of judicial officers would remain uppermost on the agenda of the President Muhammadu Buhari , Punch reports.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN), according to a statement by his Special Assistant (Media and Public Relations), Dr. Umar Gwandu, made the commitment in his address at the 2022 Court of Appeal Annual Legal year.

He said, “I wish to recall that one of the cardinal issues raised by the President of the Court of Appeal in Her Lordship’s address last year was the issue of the welfare of our meticulous and committed judicial officers.

“The government of the day is not oblivious of this persistent challenge. Amidst our revenue challenges as a nation, coupled with various demands for wage increase, one certain assurance I can make to this noble gathering is that the improvement of the remuneration and conditions of service of our judicial officers is uppermost on the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.”

The minister said the ongoing process of improving the welfare package of the judicial officers would be completed in accordance with extant constitutional and statutory provisions.

Malami said the available appropriation figures also bore testament to the fact of a progressively upward review of annual budgetary appropriation to the judiciary under President Buhari.

The AGF said while the budget of the Judiciary declined from N95 billion in 2010 to N68 billion in 2014, there was an upward swing in 2015 from N73 billion to N120 billion in 2022 (being the highest in the history of the judiciary).

He said the government also made special budgetary provision to cater for special assignments associated with national elections.

“The Federal Government under the leadership of President Buhari will not rest on its oars in its quest for increased funding for the judiciary,” he said.

Malami commended the foresight of His Lordship, the President of the Court of Appeal in taking proactive steps towards an effective discharge of the onerous constitutional mandate over the outcome of elections.

He said these notable steps included engagement with relevant stakeholders, especially with the advent of the 2022 Electoral Act.

“I am also gladdened that His Lordship has inaugurated a 13-man Electoral Judicial Manual Committee that will see to the issuance of the Maiden Edition of the Electoral Judicial Manual, which will provide an operational framework and reference guide for the determination of election petitions,” the AGF said.

The manual, he said, was expected to guide both the bar and the bench, with an added benefit of mitigating the problems associated with conflicting decisions.

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