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Constitution Review: NJC Should Fix Salaries Of Judges – CJN

Chief Justice of Nigeria says the National Judicial Council should be allowed to review Judges’ salaries.

Gatekeepers News reports that Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, has requested that the constitution be amended to allow the National Judicial Council (NJC) determine the salaries of judges.

Muhammad made this proposition at the national public hearing organised by the senate committee on review of the 1999 Constitution on Thursday in Abuja.

The CJN made the submission in the 17-page paper he presented as recommendations of the judiciary.

The CJN proposed 45 constitutional amendments for the judiciary in the paper titled “Input by the Judiciary to the Proposed Alteration to the 1999 Constitution (As Amended).’’

In item 38 of the paper, Muhammad’s spokesperson, Ahuraka Isah in a statement said, the CJN wants Part 1 of the Third Schedule Paragraph 21 to the Constitution to be altered to include sub-paragraph ‘h’ to the effect that NJC should “fix, in conjunction with salaries and wages commission, salaries and other emoluments of judicial staff; in the case of judicial officers, to review such salaries no later than four years.”

Currently, Section 84 (1) of the constitution states that the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) is responsible for reviewing judges’ salaries.

The enactment of the ‘Certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders (Salaries and Allowances, etc.) (Amendment) Act, 2008′, which took effect on February 1, 2007, made this possible.

However, the CJN lamented that the inability to review this since 2008 has halted the review of judges’ salaries for 13 years.

Muhammad suggested that the constitution be amended for the NJC secretary position to be “at par with that of the clerk of the national assembly.”

He also proposed the reduction of the supreme court bench from 21 to 16 and recommended that the new amendment should categorically state that the CJN is the head of the judiciary of the federation.

In addition, the CJN advocated that the limit of post-call to bar experience of any person to be appointed as justices of the supreme court should not be less than 25 years.

The statement read,
“All the appeals from the court of appeal to the supreme court should be by leave of the supreme court and the application for leave can be determined by three justices of the apex court sitting in the chamber

“He called for the number of the court of appeal Justices pegged at 49 in the constitution under Section 237 be amended now to no less than 100 justices.

“The judiciary is now to exercise control over the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT), as the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) is to advice the NJC in nominating persons for appointment as the chairman and members of the CCT.”

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