CJN Tanko Muhammad Wants Better Welfare For Judicial Officers

By Unini Chioma -July 17, 2019

The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Tanko Muhammad has urged the Legislative and the Executive arms of government to fully provide the Judiciary arm with what was due, to enable it discharge its duty.

Muhammad, who was confirmed the CJN on Wednesday, made the call when he appeared for screening before the Senate Committee of the whole.

He decried the working conditions of judicial officials in the country, adding that it was important for judges to have structures that befits their status.

The CJN said that it was a challenge securing offices for new judges due to be appointed at the apex court.

He also decried the remuneration rate of judicial officials in the country.

The new CJN, however, said he would project the Nigerian Judiciary to greater heights if appointed as CJN.

He said this could be archived via the collective efforts of the executive and the legislature.

Muhammad said it was important for the legislature to take a holistic steps on how best to improve some of nations’ laws.

He said the duty of the judiciary was to interpret the laws, nothing that the buck of ensuring the success of the judiciary lies with the executive and the legislature.

“We don’t talk, we leave everything to the executive and legislature.

“We never ask, so we are very careful and remain contended by the provision made for us.

“We never go begging and I would not want anybody to come and beg me, we are contended for what is given to us,” he said

The CJN said that there were some bottlenecks militating against the smooth operation of the judiciary.

He said the judiciary would bring proposal for amendments to some of the laws.

Muhammad, who also responded to questions bordering on awaiting trials, said it was the duty of the legislature to make the laws better.

He urged the National Assembly and States Houses of Assemblies to do a holistic review of the criminal justice laws to adequately take care of corrupt persons in the country.

On judgment delivered by the Supreme Court based on technicalities, Muhammad said several of the laws were dependent on technicalities.

He said the judgment on technicalities were delivered based on the rules of interpretation .

“We have technicalities in our laws and we rely on experts to interpret the rules,” Muhammed said.

Some senators, who posed questions during the screening exercise includes George Sekibo, (PDP Rivers), Bamidele Opeyemi (APC-Ekiti) Abba Moro,(PDP -Benue,)Ovie -Omo- Agege (APC – Delta), among others.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Dr Ahmad Lawan, said the senate would work with the Judiciary to address the issue of poor remuneration of judicial officials.