Nigeria's Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has stated that there is no basis for judges in the country to earn less than federal lawmakers.
In his speech at the Justice Sector Reform Summit 2022 themed ‘Devising Practical Solutions towards Improved Performance, Enhanced Accountability and Independence in the Justice Sector’ on Tuesday January 25, the Vice President noted that the conditions under which judicial officers operate must be good enough to attract the best of minds in the profession.
“Why should a judge earn so much less than a federal legislator? There’s no basis for it whatsoever. We should in fact benchmark without necessarily creating fresh new legislation because the legislature doesn’t have any legislation about their own salaries.
“If we benchmark what a federal judicial officer/Court of Appeal Judge earns to what a House of Representatives member earns, you’d find a startling difference. If you benchmark a Supreme Court Justice to what a Senator earns, you’d notice the difference. If we start that quick process now, we wouldn’t have to go through the rigorous process of legislation. We’d just benchmark the salaries even if we’re going to call it allowances.
“The truth of the matter is that the responsibilities of the judge or justice of the Supreme Court/Court of Appeal are such they must be well remunerated. They’re such that when they retire, they must be able to go to homes that they own in decent places where they live. That’s the way it should be.
“We shouldn’t have a situation where judges are anxious that when they retire, they won’t have homes to go to, because their salaries today can’t build anything decent.”