The National Judicial Council, NJC, on Thursday in Abuja condemned in strong terms, the refusal of some state governments to pay retirement benefits of judges at the state judiciary.
The council said that the actions of the affected states were worrisome and condemnable.
In a statement made available to newsmen at the end of the council’s meeting presided over by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, NJC asked the defaulting states to belt up in the discharge of their legal obligations on payment of retirement benefits to judicial officers.
The statement by the NJC’s Director of Information, Mr Soji Oye, reads in part: “NJC under the chairmanship of Hon. Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, at its 100th meeting held on 19 January 2023, deliberated on the worrisome situation whereby many judicial officers of the states are being owed their retirement benefits, including severance pay/gratuity and pensions.
“After due consideration, Council condemns in very strong terms this act, which is undermining the Rule of Law and Section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999.
“It, therefore, calls on the offending states to ensure that all entitlement of retired judges are fully settled forthwith.
“Council further directed state chief judges to file reports on compliance, to reach the Council not later than 1 April 2023.”