Nigeria’s Supreme Court docket engulfed in uncommon welfare complaints row | Courts Information
Greater than a dozen justices on the 18-member establishment have lodged a letter of protest over their working circumstances.
Nigeria’s chief justice has defended the remedy of the nation’s Supreme Court docket judges after greater than a dozen of them lodged a grave criticism about their working circumstances, in response to native media studies.
Native newspapers reported that weeks in the past, 14 of the apex courtroom’s 16 judges had despatched a criticism to the nation’s prime decide. Within the leaked memo, they complained about numerous welfare and logistical points together with a scarcity of analysis assistants and insufficient lodging.
In a press release issued on Monday in response to the letter, Chief Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad stated the Supreme Court docket had offered its members with satisfactory provisions, together with autos for the whole thing and lodging for all however a “few”.
“The Apex Court docket has … been dwelling [up] to its constitutional duty,” the chief justice stated.
He added most people ought to be “relaxation assured” that there was “no hostility or antagonistic emotions” among the many 16-member courtroom and stated all justices have been going about their regular duties.
However the chief justice additionally admitted that the establishment “doesn’t exist outdoors [of] its atmosphere” and had additionally been affected by the tough financial realities dealing with the nation, which presently spends practically 90 p.c of all its revenues on servicing debt, in response to the Worldwide Financial Fund (IMF).
Justices accuse courtroom of ‘ignoring’ calls for for enchancment
Within the judges’ letter of criticism – reportedly the primary of its sort to be submitted within the courtroom’s practically 60-year historical past – they stated a number of of them sworn into their posts in late 2020 had “but to be accommodated”.
The letter additionally raised considerations over the dearth of authorized analysis assistants offered to justices, erratic electrical energy provide to the courtroom, allegedly decrepit work autos given to justices, a number of of which have been claimed to be “substandard”, and a scarcity of web provision of their residences and chambers.
The complainants stated 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 a scarcity of accessible price range to supply some recently-installed justices with residential lodging and geared up libraries.
However he additionally stated the courtroom had been pressured to pay for refurbishment work this 12 months and that funds had been ringfenced through the COVID-19 pandemic to forestall redundancies.
“The Apex Court docket has to make do with the assets at its disposal to fulfill their wants over time,” Muhammad stated, arguing it will have “amounted to an act of irresponsibility to divert cash” put aside for the remedial works and through the pandemic elsewhere.