Lawyer salary

Lawyer calls for constitutional amendment to increase number of Supreme Court and High Court judges

Kayode Ajulo, a constitutional lawyer, has called for a constitutional amendment to increase the number of judges in the Supreme Court and High Court.

The number of judges dealing with cases in these courts was insufficient for a country like Nigeria, Ajulo said.

He said the length of time judges sit to decide cases could affect their health and have serious implications for efficiency.

The lawyer said this during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, saying that cases should be dealt with as they arise.

He said the appeal had become necessary in the context of lingering cases before the courts, adding that the power rested with the National Assembly through a constitutional amendment.

Mr Ajulo said: “In the Supreme Court, if you check the number of judges there, I don’t think they are up to 15, while all the cases of the whole federation end up in the court. supreme.

“You have to consider that age is also not on their side because most of them are in their 60s and you want to compile cases for them at that age.

“Today in the Supreme Court, some cases are postponed to 2023 or 2024 and it’s not their fault.”

The jurist said the number of judges in the Federal High Courts was around 75, adding that this number could be increased to 150 or 200.

“A city like Abuja having between 30 and 40 FCT High Court judges, I don’t see why Abuja shouldn’t have something like 60 to 70 judges.

“I’m a practicing lawyer and you have to see what happens in court, you get to court, you’ll see 10 to 15 cases when on average a case won’t take less than an hour.

“And you have to see a case where the Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SAN) address the court; some of them spend six hours and then how many hours are left in court.

“The court will be tired and your case will not be heard, which is why we have so many cases in court with a snail’s movement.

“Sometimes I feel sorry for them, even their pay is not commensurate with the nature of the work they do. However, we have learned that some people have gone to court to have their salaries increased.

Mr Ajulo said that if the reports were true, the president had taken action by increasing their salaries, adding that increasing the solicitation of legal actions was not the right thing to do.

He said judges should be well paid based on the number of cases they handle on a daily basis.

On Friday, President Muhammadu Buhari ordered the establishment of a new and improved salary structure for judicial officers.