In proceedings that followed the suit filed by Sebastian Hon(SAN), seeking an order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) compelling the defendants – the AGF, National Judicial Council (NJC), the National Assembly, and the RMAFC – to increase the salaries and allowances of judges in the country, The National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) in Abuja on Friday have now ordered a substantial increment in the salaries of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and other Nigerian judges.
Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae who stood as the trial judge, gave this order in her judgment, saying “judges have been victims of great injustice” as she described their poor salaries as a “national shame”.
She gave the judgment in a suit filed by Mr. Hon, seeking an upward review of the emoluments and salaries of judges in the country seeing that salaries have remained stagnant since 2008 when they were last reviewed.
“It is unconstitutional and unlawful for the RMAFC to refuse to review the salaries of judges,” the judge, Mrs. Obaseki-Osaghae, held before granting all the claimant’s prayers in her judgment on Friday.
She ordered that “the judgment is to be served on the 2nd defendant (AGF) immediately,” criticizing the Justice Minister, Abubakar Malami, for arguing that judges have no legal right to have their salaries reviewed upwards.
The court ordered the RMAFC to immediately raise the salary of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) to N10 million monthly from the current N3.4 million per annum, said to be far below what is earned by his counterparts in other countries.
The judge also ordered the RMAFC to review the salaries of other heads of courts and their judges ranging from N7 million to N9 million monthly.
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