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Ex-judge to NJC: Don’t leave us in retirement to Ondo govt

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Ex-judge to NJC: Don’t leave us in retirement to Ondo govt

A retired Ondo State judge, Justice Nelson Sola Adeyanju has pushed for implementation of the provision of the Constitution which stipulated that the judiciary budget should be paid directly into the accounts of the heads of courts in the country.
Adeyanju, who spoke during a valedictory service held in his honour at the State High Court, bemoaned a situation where retired judges had to live in penury despite their service to the country.
The jurist, who served in the state judiciary for 12 years and delivered some controversial judgments including dissolution of the local government in 2017 when Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu came into office, said many of his colleagues who retired earlier were living in penury because of the treatment meted to them.

He, however, appealed to the National Judicial Council (NJC) not be interested only in the performance of judges alone but should also in their welfare and comfort.
He said: “The present system whereby the Federal Government pays the salaries and allowances of states’ judges but left the payment of their pension and gratuity to the states governments is most incongruous. I appeal to the NJC to take steps towards the taking over of the payment of pensions and gratuities of judges in addition to the payment of their salaries and allowances.”

Besides, Justice Adeyanju appealed to the Ondo state government to ensure passage into law a pending Bill in the House of Assembly on the establishment of a Pension Department for Judges at the Judicial Service Commission, decrying a system whereby judges were being subjected to dehumanizing treatment in the processing and receiving of their pensions and gratuities.

He went on: “The judiciary is the third ‘arm’ not ‘department’ of government. The judiciary’s allocation/entitlement as budgeted should be released as a matter of course. The provision of Section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as amended) which requires that any amount due to the credit of the Judiciary in the consolidated revenue of the state be paid directly to the heads of courts concerned should be implemented in all the states of the Federation.

“A situation where the Heads of courts go cap in hand to the states’ executives should be avoided. The legislature which is the second arm of government does not go through what we go through in the judiciary. This is because the legislature possesses the power of impeachment which most often is used as a weapon of blackmail. It is hoped that the recent signing of the law giving financial autonomy to states’ Judiciary will not be manipulated to maintain the status quo.”

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