The working conditions of Nigeria’s judicial officers again came to the fore today as a Senior Magistrate was seen being ferried to work on commercial motorcycle popularly called ‘okada.’

CITY LAWYER reliably gathered that the Senior Magistrate (name withheld) was compelled to ride on the commercial motorcycle as she allegedly does not have any official vehicle attached to her.

A source who is familiar with the trend told CITY LAWYER that the judicial officer was heading to Neni Chief Magistrates Court in Anambra State to perform her usual judicial function.

Though there has been a clamour for judicial autonomy and better funding of the Judiciary, the challenges in this area persist.

Speaking on the trending matter, a social commentator, Dr. Chukwudi Okoye wrote: “Another Magistrate who dared to take her (Bolikaja) vehicle to work to safe (sic) face the other day got a lesson in vehicle breakdowns that eventually took the Divisional Police Officer of nearby station to rescue her while heading home from work late in the evening somewhere at Nibo.”

On his part, a Lagos-based senior lawyer noted that the trend may put the judicial officers in harm’s way, saying: “This is absolute disgrace to the judiciary and what it stands for. It’s not even safe for the Magistrate who sits over matters of criminals daily. The welfare of the Judiciary as an institution ought to have been considered in this administration of an intellect who knows the implication of undermining same.”

The Anambra State Government had budgeted 2.1% for its Law and justice sector while the social sector accounts for 15.2% of the capital budget size. Sectorial allocation was spread across four broad sectors including the administrative sector, economic sector, law & justice sector, and social sector.

CITY LAWYER was unable to reach any source at the Anambra State Judiciary at the time of going to press.

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