The President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Mr. Yakubu Maikyau SAN has berated presidential aspirants who attended the NBA Annual General Conference (AGC) for not speaking to the issue of judicial autonomy.

Maikyau spoke yesterday at the Annual Legal Year Ceremony of the Court of Appeal which held at the Court of Appeal Headquarters, Abuja. The ceremony had in attendance the Court of Appeal President, Justice Monica Dongban-Mensem and other Justices of the court as well as eminent jurists and members of the Bar.

According to a statement made available to CITY LAWYER by NBA Publicity Secretary, Mr. Habeeb Lawal, Maikyau emphasized the need for the judiciary to be truly independent, and observed that “none of the presidential candidates for the upcoming 2023 election, who attended the Opening Ceremony of the just concluded NBA-AGC on the 21st August, 2022 spared any thought on the independence of the judiciary.”

While Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Labour Party (LP) aspirants, Messrs Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi attended the AGC in person, the All Progressives Congress (APC) aspirant, Senator Bola Tinubu was represented by the party’s vice presidential aspirant, Senator Kashim Shettima. 

Maikyau in his address decried the poor working condition of the court and welfare of Justices. He stated that the salaries and allowances of judges and justices in the country have remained the same since 2008, adding that this has a negative impact on justice delivery in the country.

The NBA President urged “the government to deliberately invest in the welfare of Judges and Justices by strengthening the human capital within the justice sector and meeting all the infrastructural needs of the judiciary as a matter of urgency.”

The NBA President also called on the Federal Government “to revisit the 2018 Report of the Committee on the Review of Judicial Salaries and Conditions of Service, to bring same in tune with our present day realities and give effect to the final recommendations that will arise therefrom.”

He reiterated the commitment of the NBA under his leadership to maintain a robust Bench and Bar relationship.

To read the full text of the address, click here.

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