An eminent Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Dr. Muiz Banire, has reacted to the development regarding the allocation of the Judiciary from the 2020 budget. He laments that the Judiciary is not been treated as an arm of government.
“A recent revelation in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has shown that the entire budget for the judiciary in Nigeria in the year 2020 is the paltry sum of 110 billion Naira which is less than 1% of the entire budget for the country.
It is sad that a country whose third arm of government is being treated like an ordinary government parastatal is expecting the kind of development attained by countries that make their judiciary part of the government. Judicial funding must not be at the mercy of some potentates whose early morning grunts decide the government policy for the day.”
The Senior Advocate of Nigeria insisted that the funding of the Judiciary is meager and cannot account for a reasonable salary for judges to encourage them to avoid corruption.
“The current parlous state of events which has been worsened by the covid-19 pandemic has revealed the weakness in the system beyond the comprehension of the sanest. How on earth does a system laying claim to civilization and respect for the judiciary expect a whole justice system of a country as populous as ours to be funded with such an alms-size amount? The amount above can hardly account for reasonable salaries for judicial officers expected to shun corruption.
In addition to this is the need to provide the necessary infrastructure to cater for the emergency needs of the judicial sector that has found itself prostrate in the current crisis.”
He urged well-meaning Nigerians to resist the reduction of the platry sum allocated to the Judiciary being insufficient to bring any development in the sector.
“It is certain that where Nigeria intends to meet its judicial needs to be able to dispense justice to all in order to guarantee economic development, the total allocation meant for the entire sector in the current budget can never be sufficient. We implore all stakeholders to wake up and the government should do the needful.
The infrastructure needed to make the judiciary perform its functions adequately digitally by remote hearing and filing cannot be treated half-heartedly and expect a magical turn-around in the system. The government must make the necessary investment in its justice system in order to ensure economic progress that we really need at this moment in our history.
All well meaning Nigerians must rise up to insist that no kobo must be reduced again from the original paltry allocation of 110b. The proposed reduction again of 11b must be resisted otherwise such is a further invitation to anarchy in the country.”
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