The Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi, has advocated special remuneration and other perks for judges in the country to lessen the incidence of material and financial inducement in the course of justice dispensation.
The governor made the call through his deputy, Moses Adeyemo, when receiving national officers of the Magistrates Association of Nigeria, MAN, at the Executive Council Chambers of the Governor’s Office, in Ibadan, on Monday.
The delegation was led by the National President of the association, Safiyanu Umar.
Mr. Ajimobi, therefore, urged the federal and state governments to immediately embark on a review of judges’ remuneration to avert what he called ‘travesty of justice,’ which, according to him, had stained the country’s judiciary.
Mr. Ajimobi said, “Our judges deserve to be specially remunerated with necessary logistics supports because of their special roles and responsibilities. This is a sure way of committing them to dispense justice as it ought to be.
“If we fail to provide the best pay package for the judges, then we have no moral right to demand fairness from them. I urge the federal government to immediately look into the judges’ remuneration and effect appropriate changes.
“Judges are human beings who are susceptible to corruption just like those in other sectors and disciplines. With the humongous slush fund in circulation and the desperation of looters to enjoy their loot unhindered, it only takes a conscionable judge to resist the tempting aroma of inducement.”
The governor also admonished judges to always ensure that their pronouncements and sentencing were commensurate with offences committed, warning that a slap on the wrist would embolden criminals to remain incorrigible.
He advised the judges to embrace modern ways of taking notes and writing judgment, urging them to discard the age-old practice of writing judgment in long hand.
Mr. Ajimobi said, “Most judgments don’t correlate with the offences that called for them. Some judges would rather consider their biases and disposition to either of the two sides in a matter before arriving at their judgments.
“It is also important that we move with the tide of modern development. Judges are not expected to write judgments in long hand. They can make use of technology and their work will be made easy and less burdensome.
“If a light punishment is given to an accused who commits a great offence that is travesty of justice. We should remember that the best judgment is reserved with God. Our judges must always do the needful and resist activities capable of tainting their names and the temple of justice.”