The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr Yakubu Maikyau (SAN), has attributed the insecurity, economic crisis, political instability and corruption plaguing the country to the absence of justice in the society.

“The legal profession (the Bar and Bench) has been rendered incapable of dispensing what is otherwise its primary responsibility of promoting the rule of law to serve the cause of justice”, he said in speech at the ceremony.

While pointing out that Nigerians look up to the legal profession for the recovery, reformation and repositioning of the country, the NBA boss said this can only happen through a deliberate pursuit of justice, which must be led by the legal profession.

He said the existence of a strong and independent judiciary is critical in the attainment of a state of affairs where justice will not only be present but also seen to be present, even as he lamented that the salaries and allowances of Judges and Justices in the country have remained the same since 2009.

Maikyau observed that the report of the committee on the review of judicial salaries and conditions of service, submitted to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF) since June 2018 has yielded no positive result.

“Notwithstanding the current state of things, the Supreme Court in appeal No. SC/655/2020, in a rare but unsurprising display of strength of character, declared unconstitutional, null and void and of no effect whatsoever, Executive Order 10, which seemingly meant to help uplift the welfare of Judges and Justices. The apex court held that the President overstepped the limits of his powers and that the country is run on the basis of the rule of law.”

He said, it is worrisome that non of the presidential candidates for the 2023 election, who attended the opening ceremony of the just concluded NBA conference on the 21st of August spared any thought on the independence of the judiciary.

According to the NBA President, the only way the government can show sincerity in the bid to recover and develop the country is to deliberately invest in the welfare of Judges and Justices by strengthening the human capital within the justice sector and meeting all the infrastructural needs of the Judiciary.

He called for the government to revisit the 2018 report of the committee on the review of judicial salaries and conditions of service, to bring the same in tune with the present-day realities and give effect to the final recommendations that will arise therefrom.

In his speech, the Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) said, improvement of the remuneration and conditions of service of judicial officers remains uppermost on the agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the government is not oblivious of the persistent challenge in the area of salaries and welfare of judicial officers and, however, added that the ongoing process of improving the welfare package of judicial officers will be completed, in accordance with extant constitutional and statutory provisions.

According to the minister, 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 makes special budgetary provisions to cater for special assignments associated with national elections and that Government will not rest on its oars in its quest for increased funding for the judiciary.

Malami commended the foresight of 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, saying that the 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 (EJMC) 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 manual, he noted was expected to guide both the bar and the bench, with an added benefit of mitigating the problems associated with conflicting decisions.

A handy text for not only lawyers, arbitrators, and judges, but also as major reference material for industry players including architects, builders, civil and structural engineers, quantity surveyors, and project managers, among others.

Written By Ewuwuni Onnoghen-Theophilus (Mrs.), LL.M, MCIArb.

The book goes for N25,000. To order, please call 08035426089, 07065398107, send an email to info@onnoghentheophilus.com or visit www.onnoghentheophilus.com

[Now On Sale] Book On “International Arbitration & ADR And The Rule Of Law”

Price: ₦15,000 or £20 per copy [Hard Back– 20 chaps/715 pages] Contact Information Email: info@idrinstitute.cominfo@adrinafrica.org WhatsApp only: 0803-703-5989 Voice Call – Mobile: 0817-630-8030,+234-805-2128-456, +234-909-9651-401 Landline: 09-2913581, +234-9-2913499, +234-9-2919209 Office Address: 50 Julius Nyerere Crescent, [Next To The World Bank], Asokoro, Abuja – Nigeria. Bank Account DetailsBank Name: UBA Plc.; Account Name: International Dispute Resolution Institute; Account Number: 1014072579