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CJN promises better welfare for magistrates, others

614c68a2 chief justice of nigeria olukayode ariwoola

The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Olukayode Ariwoola, has assured magistrates, judges of lower courts, and their staff of improved welfare.

The plight of magistrates and judges in lower courts, grappling with poor working conditions and inadequate welfare has become a concern, prompting calls for improvement.

This issue was further brought to the fore when a video of a senior magistrate from Anambra commuting to court on a motorcycle trended in October 2023.

Speaking at the refresher course for magistrates and judges of the lower courts,  the CJN stated that he was aware of the challenges confronting them, noting that efforts were being made to improve their welfare and alleviate the challenges they face.

Ariwoola said, “While I am not unmindful of the challenges faced by the Magistrates and the Judges of the lower courts, I have this opportunity to offer assurances that proactive steps are being taken to ameliorate the difficulties and to improve the overall welfare of the judicial officers and staff of these courts since this invariably has an impact on the quality and pace of their service delivery.”

Ariwoola also urged them to display transparency, openness, and integrity.

He added that since the courts are close to the people, citizens must develop trust in the judicial system.

Ariwoola added, “Furthermore, being closer to the ordinary people, who are sometimes located in remote places, the anxieties and expectations of the users of these Courts especially as touching quick, efficient, non-technical and less costly approaches to justice are concerns which the officers who man these courts have to contend with on a daily basis.

“It is therefore imperative that in dealing or relating with users of their courts,  magistrates and the judges of the lower Courts must act with candour, integrity and within the confines all times in order to bolster trust and confidence in the justice system.”

The Administrator, National Judicial Institute, Justice Salisu Abdullahi, said the programme was organised to bring participants’ attention to crucial elements of substantive and procedural law.

He said, “This programme which is organized in line with the statutory mandate of the National Judicial Institute, provides participants with an invaluable opportunity to interact, share vital experiences, cross-fertilize ideas, and come up with new strategies and solutions, necessary for enhancing the quality of judicial services at the Lower Courts.

“It also seeks to draw the attention of participants to key aspects and areas of substantive and procedural law, that will enable them to discharge their duties more effectively and efficiently.”