Senior Advocate wants improved working conditions for judges

A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, Malam Yusuf Ali,  has called for improvement in the working conditions of judges to get optimal performance from them.

Ali made the call in an interview with newsmen on Friday in Osogbo, on the sidelines of  an award  bestowed on him  by  the Osun Government.

NAN reports that Ali and 27 other eminent personalities were honoured with awards of different categories at the 30th Anniversary Banquet and Awards ceremony organised to celebrate the creation of the state in Osogbo on Thursday.

”Everyone wants our judges to be sound, but without good working condition,  you can’t expect optimum performance.

”No successful lawyer would want to take up an appointment  as a Judge because of the poor working condition and remuneration.

”You know if you want the best, you must be ready  to part with the best. The working condition of our Judges is poor.

“Judges should be paid better. The example I like to give all the time is that you cannot deliver a 21st century service using the 18 century implement.

“Nigeria is probably one of the few countries in the world where Judges take dictation in court, no automation in court.

“Sometimes electricity will go off during court session and our courts are built in such a way that once there is no light everywhere will be dark.

“In England for example, most of their high court judges are people who are equivalent to our SAN here.

“They call them Queen’s Council, they will leave their practice and take appointment as judges because the conditions are very conducive, the pay is good and the working environment is excellent.

“We need to take holistic approach to improve the working condition of the judges and of course, inspite of these challenges, we have to take the best available in the system,” he said

Ali also said the appointment of Judges in the country should be based on competence, uprightness and not on quota system.

”Judiciary is not a place where government should be practicing quota system, especially at the Apex court of the country.

“It should be for the brightest and the most upright that you can get, because knowledge without integrity is rubbish.

“And integrity without knowledge is madness. So, the two must coexist in individuals who become a judge”, he said.

On the award bestowed on him, Ali said he was happy and humbled by the award.

“My heart is full of gratitude to Allah for his unending favours and I also thank Osun government..

“I don’t think I have done anything exceptional, there are some people who have done much but it takes the grace of God to be recognised.(NAN)

Monday Ashibogwu

Monday Michaels Ashibogwu is Editor-In-Chief of QUICK NEWS AFRICA, one of Nigeria's leading online news service.

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