Despite N165B Allocation, Nigerian Judges Continue To Suffer Under Kayode Ariwoola’s Leadership – Justice Dattijo

Despite N165B Allocation, Nigerian Judges Continue TTo Suffer Under Kayode Ariwoola’s Leadership - Justice Dattijo

Retired Supreme Court justice Musa Dattijo Muhammad has lamented the hardship that Nigerian judges face under the leadership of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Kayode Ariwoola, leading to their poor service delivery, despite N165 billion allocation from the Bola Tinubu administration.

Stating this on Friday, at the valedictory court session held in his honour at the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Justice Dattijo wondered what the judiciary does with its increasing sum of allocations from the Federal Government every year.

He said, “It is instructive to enquire what the judiciary also does with its allocations. Who is responsible for the expenditure? An unrelenting searchlight need to be beamed to unravel how the sums are expended.

“In 2015 when President Muhammadu Buhari became president, the budgetary allocation to the judiciary was N70 billion. In the 2018 Appropriation Bill submitted to the National Assembly, the president allocated N100 billion to the judiciary.

“The legislature increased it to N110 billion, N10 billion above the N100 billion appropriated for the 2017 fiscal year. At the end of Buhari’s tenure in May 2023, judiciary’s allocation had increased to N130 billion. That is an increase from N70 to N130 billion in 8 years.

“The present government has allocated an additional sum of 35 billion naira to the judiciary for the current financial year, making the amount of money accessible by the judiciary to 165 billion naira. More than 85 percent of the amount appropriated by the 9th Assembly has so far been released to the judiciary. It is envisaged that the additional 35 billion naira will equally be released by the present government.

“Notwithstanding the phenomenal increases in the sums appropriated and released to the judiciary, Justices and officers welfare and the quality of service the judiciary render have continued to decline,” he pointed out.

Justice Dattijo was also aghast as to why the Chief Registrar of the Supreme Court earns more than the Justices saying, “While she earns N1.2m per month, justices take home N751,000 in a month,” describing it as “unjust and embarrassing.”

He added that “The CJN on his part, takes home N400,000 plus. The salary of a Justice, curiously, drops rather than increases when he gets the added responsibility of being a CJN.”

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