Nigeria’s Supreme Court engulfed in rare welfare complaints row | Courts News


Greater than a dozen justices on the 18-member establishment have lodged a letter of protest over their working situations.

Nigeria’s chief justice has defended the remedy of the nation’s Supreme Courtroom judges after greater than a dozen of them lodged a grave grievance about their working situations, based on native media studies.

Native newspapers reported that weeks in the past, 14 of the apex court docket’s 16 judges had despatched a grievance to the nation’s high decide. Within the leaked memo, they complained about a lot of welfare and logistical points together with an absence of analysis assistants and insufficient lodging.

In an announcement issued on Monday in response to the letter, Chief Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad mentioned the Supreme Courtroom had offered its members with ample provisions, together with automobiles for the whole thing and lodging for all however a “few”.

“The Apex Courtroom has … been dwelling [up] to its constitutional accountability,” the chief justice mentioned.

He added most people must be “relaxation assured” that there was “no hostility or antagonistic emotions” among the many 16-member court docket and mentioned all justices have been going about their regular duties.

However the chief justice additionally admitted that the establishment “doesn’t exist exterior [of] its atmosphere” and had additionally been affected by the cruel financial realities dealing with the nation, which at the moment spends almost 90 p.c of all its revenues on servicing debt, based on the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF).

Justices accuse court docket of ‘ignoring’ calls for for enchancment

Within the judges’ letter of grievance – reportedly the primary of its form to be submitted within the court docket’s almost 60-year historical past – they mentioned a number of of them sworn into their posts in late 2020 had “but to be accommodated”.

The letter additionally raised issues over the shortage of authorized analysis assistants offered to justices, erratic electrical energy provide to the court docket, allegedly decrepit work automobiles given to justices, a number of of which have been claimed to be “substandard”, and an absence of web provision of their residences and chambers.

The complainants mentioned they’d addressed the problems throughout a gathering in March with the chief justice, who they accused of getting “obtained and ignored” their calls for for enhancements.

In his response, Muhammad famous that there had been an absence of accessible price range to offer some recently-installed justices with residential lodging and outfitted libraries.

However he additionally mentioned the court docket had been pressured to pay for refurbishment work this yr and that funds had been ringfenced through the COVID-19 pandemic to forestall redundancies.

“The Apex Courtroom has to make do with the assets at its disposal to fulfill their wants over time,” Muhammad mentioned, arguing it might have “amounted to an act of irresponsibility to divert cash” put aside for the remedial works and through the pandemic elsewhere.

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