Judges Salary: Peace Talk in suit against NASS, others collapse

Salihu Ali, Abuja

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Attempts to settle out of court in a suit instituted against the National Assembly, Nigeria’s Attorney General and the National Judicial Council NJC seeking a general review of wages for the Nigerian Judges have collapsed.

The court action instituted by a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Mr. Sebastine Hon could not be amicably settled as proposed on June 6 by the National Assembly for out of court settlement could not bring the parties together for talk.

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Nigeria’s Attorney General who was supposed to be a party to the out of court settlement has filed a counter affidavit and preliminary objection against the suit.

At the Wednesday proceedings, Counsel to the Attorney General, Mr. Ekene Elodimuo confirmed to the National Industrial Court in Abuja that his client (AGF) is desirous of going with the court hearing of the suit and has filed necessary processes.

The National Judicial Council on its part has also engaged the services of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr Kunle Adegoke to present its position in the determination of the suit.

At the proceedings counsel to the Plaintiff Mr. Adgboyega Awomolo SAN, who stood for the plaintiff told Justice Osatohanmwen Obaseki-Osaghae that the Attorney General had served on him his counter affidavit and preliminary objection indicating that the June 6 proposed out of court settlement has collapsed.

The senior lawyer asked the court to allow him proceed with hearing of the originating Summons of his client.

However counsel to National Judicial Council NJC, Mr. Kunle Adegoke SAN, pleaded with the Judge to grant him a short adjournment to enable him file necessary processes in respect of the matter.

He informed the court that the NJC briefed him in less than 24 hours ago and that he needed time to study the originating summons and file his response.

Counsel for the plaintiff (Awomolo) did not oppose to request for adjournment but however pleaded with the court to allow hearing in the matter on Monday June 27.

In a brief ruling, Justice Obaseki-Osaghae granted the adjournment request by the NJC but fixed June 28 for hearing of the suit.

The proceedings was attended by the President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) Olumide Akpata, Femi Falana SAN, and over 30 Senior Advocates of Nigeria SANs.

Apart from NASS, AGF NJC, other defendant in the suit is Revenue Mobilization Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) but was not represented in court by any legal practitioner.

Plaintiff in the suit, Chief Sebastine Hon SAN who instituted the case is praying the court to compel the defendants (AGF, NJC NASS) to increase the salaries and allowances of Nigerian judges.

 

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