Vice President, Professor Osinbajo on Tuesday urged stakeholders in the judicial sector to work hard in reversing the negative perception about the speed of justice delivery in the country.
Osibanjo who expressed the need for the transformation of the judiciary in the country, equally advocated for the creation of a benchmark in the salaries of judicial officers and that of the legislators.
He spoke at the Justice Sector Summit organized by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) and other stakeholders, titled, “Devising Practical Solutions Towards Improved Performance, Enhanced Accountability and Independence in the Justice Sector”.
This he explained, will bring an end to the perennial disputes among the two other arms of government.
“Why should a judge earn so much less than a federal legislator? There’s no basis for it whatsoever. We should in fact benchmark without necessarily creating fresh new legislation because the legislature doesn’t have any legislation about their own salaries.
“If we benchmark what a federal judicial officer/Court of Appeal Judge earns to what a House of Representatives member earns, you’d find a startling difference. If you benchmark a Supreme Court Justice to what a Senator earns, you’d notice the difference. If we start that quick process now, we wouldn’t have to go through the rigorous process of legislation. We’d just benchmark the salaries even if we’re going to call it allowances.
“The truth of the matter is that the responsibilities of the judge or justice of the Supreme Court/Court of Appeal are such they must be well remunerated. They’re such that when they retire, they must be able to go to homes that they own in decent places where they live. That’s the way it should be.
“We shouldn’t have a situation where judges are anxious that when they retire, they won’t have homes to go to, because their salaries today can’t build anything decent.”
The Vice President said that the system in the welfare conditions of the judicial officers must be strengthened to make them live above board and to also attract the best brains into the bench.