By Isaac Ukpoju
Lafia – Justice Suleiman Dikko, Chief Judge of Nasarawa State, has appealed to the state government to grant financial autonomy to the judiciary to facilitate smooth dispensation of justice.
Dikko stated this on Monday in Lafia, during the 2017 Lafia appeal/call-over session to review cases already decided by lower courts.
He said that inadequate finances had frustrated efforts toward building the capacity of judges and other supporting staff of the judiciary.
“Judges that were supposed to attend national and international conferences over the years, could not do so due to lack of funds.
“We have not been able to promote staff for quite some time, while allowances due to them are still unpaid.
“We were forced to use our overhead vote to pay officers promoted in 2016 to avert industrial action by Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) and Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN).
“The implication of that one year promotion is that the salary figure went up by N3.5 million monthly; with the paucity of funds, implementing another promotion will be impossible,” Dikko said.
The Chief Judge, however, warned judges of lower courts and other staff against indulging in corrupt practices as anyone caught would be sanctioned.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that Dikko had earlier inaugurated a five-man appeal panel to review the 155 criminal and civil cases already decided by lower courts.
Of the figure, he said that 53 were criminal, while 102 were civil.
He noted, however, that the review of the criminal cases may be delayed due to the ongoing labour strike since the prosecuting officers were staff of the justice ministry.