Connect with us


Welfare of judges: Olanipekun discloses how Body of benchers prevailed to commit Buhari to upward review of salary



Share this story

The Chairman of the Body of Benchers (BoB), Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN has revealed that the body has succeeded in getting President Muhammadu Buhari’s commitment to improve the welfare of judges in the country.

This is coming as a glimpse of hope for judicial officers in the country and stronger judiciary for the commonman.

The chairman indicated that President Buhari has graciously acceded to the request of the Benchers for the upward review of salaries and emolument of judges in the country.

Olanipekun, a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) made the revelation while speaking in Abuja on Sunday at an event held to mark the 80th birthday of a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and traditional ruler of Tuomo Kingdom, in Burutu Local Area of Delta State, Justice Francis Fedode Tabai.

The ex-NBA President, who led a team of Body of Benchers to interface with President Buhari last Thursday, further revealed that the team succeeded in extracting commitment from the President to ensure an enhanced welfare package for judicial officers and a comprehensive rehabilitation of the entire Judiciary.

At the end of the interface, Olanipekun said that President Buhari issued a directive to those in charge to immediately commence work on the 2018 report of an Advisory Committee that has been submitted to him

Besides, the legal luminary also said that the Presidency agreed to upgrade the contents of the 2018 reports to bring it in tune with current realities.
He added that the poor welfare conditions of judges got so bad that he had to lead the current leadership of the BoB to President Buhari, and they were able to “extract an undertaking from Mr President to upgrade the salaries of the Judiciary”.
“We were frank with the President. We told him everything. We also told him that if we don’t maintain justice, justice will undo us soon. We told him how we interfaced with Justices of the Supreme Court on one hand to ascertain their working conditions.
“We told him how bad things are with the Judiciary; that Justices are not encouraged, that they are underpaid, that what they give to justices are peanuts when compared with the other arms of government.
“In fairness to Mr. President, perhaps, he did not know the gravity of the situation until I explained everything to him when we met him last Thursday.

“And, in fairness to him (Buhari), he said there are three arms of government. He agreed that each of the three arms must be treated equitably and fairly. And that, no one should be subjugated to the others, and no one should be treated as a slave.

“The way I see it today is that the Judiciary is being beaten and you are asking the Judiciary not to cry. The Judiciary is crying silently from within. You can hear the grumbling. You can see the tears.

“The President gave his commitment voluntarily. It was in response to my address. He promised to take immediate action, and that for now, he is giving a directive to those in charge to dust the report that is on ground and act as we have requested.”
According to Olanipekun, “it is those who suffers from injustice that knows what it means “, adding that after they drew the attention of President Buhari to the plight of the Justices, he agreed with us that something must be done immediately.

Responding to questions, Olanipekun said, “the President gave his commitment voluntarily. It was in response to my address, that the President assured that he was going to take immediate action.

“For now, the President has given instructions to those in charge to dust a report that is on ground, which was submitted in 2018 on judges’ welfare and act as we have requested.”

On whether the President gave a timeline for the execution of his instructions, Olanipekun said they have elected to take President Buhari by his words.

“Well, you know he is the President, and we went visiting him and customarily, we cannot demand that the President should give us a timeline. If a President has given his words that he will act, we believe him.

Olanipekun, who argued that the Judiciary was unfairly treated when compared with the other arms of government, noted that: “Today you can hear the grumbling, you can see the tears of the Judiciary, though they are not coming out. The Judiciary is crying silently.

“We all watched and heard what happened at the Supreme Court . If gold rusts, what happens to other metals? In this context, the Supreme Court is the gold. And if the Justices of the Supreme Court can cry out over poor remuneration , then what happens to those in the lower courts?

According to Olanipekun it is unfair that a Justice of the Supreme Court takes home N250,000 monthly salary and a cumulative pay of N750,000 per month compared to a Senator who earns not less than N3million a month.

He however, assured that he would commit his tenure at the BOB to work with relevant stakeholders to improve the standard of the Judiciary, stressing that “this is not a time for distraction, it is time for collaborative action on the part of us in the legal profession.

Pouring eulogies on the erudite Justice of the apex court at 80, Olanipekun said in developed countries his Lordship would still be in service, giving his best to his fatherland but unfortunately a justice in Nigeria had to retire at 70.

While disclosing that he was once against the early retirement of judges, but that in view of the current unenviable state of affairs in the Judiciary, he has long jettisoned such position.

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Chicago State University releases Tinubu’s academic records to Atiku




Share this story

The Chicago State University was able to locate and produce three out of the four sets of documents requested concerning Mr Tinubu to Atiku.
The Chicago State University (CSU) has finally released the academic records of President Bola Tinubu to his pollical opponent, Atiku Abubakar, in line with an order of a United States court.

Atiku, the presidential candidate of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Nigeria’s 25 February election, had requested the documents to back his allegation of forgery of CSU certificate against Mr Tinubu. It would mean Mr Tinubu was not qualify to run for the election, which he won, if the allegation is successfully proved against him.

The university, on Monday, presented to Atiku’s legal team, a cache of documents connected to Mr Tinubu’s education at the institution and copies of certificates with redacted names issued to other persons about the same time the Nigerian president finished from the school in 1979.

It also contained Mr Tinubu’s admission records, and a letter dated 27 June 2022 confirming that he attended the university from August 1977 and June 1979 majoring in accounting. The letter said Mr Tinubu was awarded Bachelors of Science in Business Administration with Honours on 22 June 1979.

PREMIUM TIMES reported that the District Court in Northern Illinois, had in its judgement delivered on Saturday, given the university up till 12 noon on Monday to deliver the documents to Atiku.

The judge, Nancy Maldonado, gave the other after dismissing Mr Tinubu’s objection in the judgement.

Ms Maldonando dismissed Mr Tinubu’s objection to the 20 September decision of a magistrate judge of the court, Jeffery Gilbert.

The judge fully affirmed Mr Gilbert’s ruling, ordering the CSU to release Mr Tinubu’s academic records as requested by Atiku. She insisted Atiku had the right to have access to the records.


Complying with the court order on Monday, the university produced four sets of documents copies of which went viral online on Monday. Phrank Shuaibu, a spokesperson to Atiku, confirmed the documents as those received from the university to PREMIUM TIMES.

In a deposition detailing its compliance with the court order, the university confirmed it was able to grant three of Atiku’s four requests.

Responding to one of the requests it granted, the university said, “after diligent search”. it was able to locate and produce seven different certificates for Bachelor of Science degree it issued in 1979.

Atiku had apparently requested the documents to compare and contrast them with the one presented by Mr Tinubu as his for the 2023 presidential election.

The university also handed to Atiku’s team, documents relating to Mr Tinubu and certified by an official of CSU, Jamar C. Orr, a lawyer.

The university similarly produced, “after diligent search”, copies of three other diploma certificates issued to other students other than Mr Tinubu in 1979.

This was in response to Atiku’s request for “true and correct copies of any diplomas issued by CSU (other than to Mr Tinubu) that contain the same font, seal, signatures, and wording (other than the name of the recipient and the specific degree awarded)”. Atiku sought these documents to compare and contrast them with the one Mr Tinubu claimed to have obtained on or about 22 June 1979.

But the university said it was unable to locate “a copy of the original diploma it prepared for Mr Tinubu in 1979” as requested by Atiku.

This was the kernel of Atiku’s request which is at the heart of the issue he intends to use the documents for in his legal challenge of Mr Tinubu’s victory at the 25 February presidential election.
The university said it “does not in the ordinary course keep copies of student diplomas, and after diligent search cannot locate a copy of the original diploma it prepared for Mr. Tinubu in 1979, hence has no documents responsive to this request.”

Atiku’s battle with Tinubu

Atiku had asked for the documents for use in Nigerian courts to support his argument that Mr Tinubu forged a diploma certificate he claimed to have obtained from CSU in 1979 and submitted to Nigeria’s electoral body, INEC, for the 2023 presidential election.

This, Atiku argued, goes to the root of Mr Tinubu’s qualification to contest the last presidential election.

Although Atiku lost his case against Mr Tinubu at the Presidential Election Petition Court which delivered its judgement in early September, he hopes to reintroduce the issue backed with the documents from the CSU in his appeal which he is pursuing against the election court’s decision at the Nigerian Supreme Court.

Atiku had told the US district court that he had up till 5 October to file the documents from the CSU against Mr Tinubu at the Supreme Court in Nigeria.

Mr Tinubu mounted stiff opposition to the release of the documents to Atiku, arguing that “the Nigerian election proceedings and the Nigerian courts” had explicitly rejected the documents Atiku sought to obtain and tender in his case aimed at overturning the results of the 25 February presidential election.

Mr Tinubu’s second reason was that Atiku’s request “is unduly intrusive because it allows Applicant (Atiku) to conduct a fishing expedition into Intervenor’s private, confidential, and protected educational records.”

ut dismissing Mr Tinubu’s objection on Saturday, Ms Maldonado said she was only affirming Atiku’s right to have access to the CSU documents, not confirming the merit of his allegations against the Nigerian president or his comments on the validity of the country’s presidential election.

“In reaching this conclusion, the Court emphasises that it is expressing no view on the merits of Mr Abubakar’s underlying claims regarding President Tinubu or his graduation from CSU, or on the validity of the Nigerian election.

“Nor is the Court taking any position on what any of the documents or testimony from CSU may or may not ultimately show. The Court simply finds, on the narrow question before it, that Mr Abubakar is entitled to the production of documents and testimony that he seeks from CSU,” a summary of the judgement read in part.

Culled from Premium Times

Continue Reading


Tribunal sacks Gov Sule, declares David Ombugadu winner




Share this story

The Nasarawa State Governorship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Lafia, the state capital, has nullified the election of Governor Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa state, declaring PDP’s David Ombugadu as the winner.
It also ordered the withdrawal of Certificate of Return issued to Governor Abdullahi Sule of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 18 election.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had declared Governor Sule winner of the election

Following the declaration, David Ubugadu of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) approached the tribunal to challenge his opponent’s victory.

Delivering the judgment virtually, Chairman of the tribunal, Justice Ezekiel Ajayi, declared Emmanuel Ombugadu of the PDP as the lawfully elected governor of Nasarawa State.

Reacting to the judgment, former Senate President Bukola Saraki tweeted, “I congratulate Hon. David Ombugadu of our great party, PDP, who has been declared the winner of the Nasarawa State Governorship election by the Nasarawa State Election Petition Tribunal. This judicial victory is a resounding affirmation of the people’s will, and it serves as a reminder that democracy is and must always be the bedrock of our nation.”

Continue Reading


CSU certificate Saga: Autonomy of US judiciary made Tinubu’s defeat possible




Share this story

***says what he has been hiding for two decades is coming to light

Special Assistant on Public Communications, to former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Mr. Phrank Shaibu, has indicated that the alleged certificate scandals of President Bola Tinubu, which he has been concealing for over two decades, will soon come to light.

Shaibu attributed the Tinubu’s ultimate defeat at the Northern District of Illinois court to the independence of Judiciary of the United States of America for what he described as

Shaibu gave the indication while reacting to the order by Justice Nancy Maldonado for the Chicago State University to release all of Tinubu’s academic records to Atiku.

According to him, Tinubu had continued to evade justice since 1999 when the legendary human rights lawyer, Gani Fawehinmi (SAN), first blew the lid on his certificates scam.

Shaibu said rather than deliver justice on the merits of the case, judges had continued to give Tinubu victory based on technicalities, a development which had led to over 20 dubious victories.

He noted that it was unfortunate that the Nigerian judiciary had failed to live up to expectation as the last hope of the common man.

Shaibu said, “Justice Maldonado who has spent less than one year on the bench and who sat on this case for barely a month, has been able to do what the Nigerian judiciary could not do for 23 years. This explains why the Nigerian society is on the brink of slipping into the state of nature, which Thomas Hobbes described as short, brutish, and nasty.

The Atiku aide berated Tinubu’s lawyer and former National Legal Adviser of the All Progressives Congress, Babatunde Ogala, for describing the US court victory as of no consequence.

Ogala had also compared the victory to masturbation, insisting that the judgement would have no consequence on Atiku’s appeal against Tinubu’s victory at the Supreme Court.

However, Shaibu, who described Ogala as a legal and intellectual Lilliputian, asked the Head of Tinubu’s Legal Team to bury his face in shame.

He said, “Ordinarily, we would not have responded to the words of a legal Lilliputian who has never won any landmark case in court and whose growth in the legal field is tied to the apron strings of a Chicago Bagman. However, the truth needs to be said for the sake of posterity.

“Louis Brandeis, US Supreme Court Judge may have had Ogala in mind when he wrote “…about the wickedness of people shielding wrongdoers and passing them off (or at least allowing them to pass themselves off) and then proposed a remedy that “_If the broad light of day could be let in upon men’s actions, it would purify them as the sun disinfects.”

“It is unfortunate that Ogala glorifies technicality instead of justice. Ogala claimed that the victory was meaningless. So, why did his principal try to block the release of his credentials if he had nothing to hide? Why did he also appeal the initiatial judgment?

“The Bible says only the wicked runs when no one chases them. Why has Tinubu been blocking the release of his academic records for nearly 30 years?”

The Atiku aide further said Ogala’s outburst was based on his alleged desperation to receive an appointment from Tinubu, having failed to make the cabinet.

Shaibu equally said, “Ogala was lobbying to be the Attorney-General. He believed it was his birthright after defending Tinubu in court on several occasions.

“However, having only received the title of senior advocate two years ago without any remarkable or landmark cases under his belt, Tinubu opted for the more experienced Lateef Fagbemi.

“Since then, Ogala has been trying to ingratiate himself to Tinubu and is now standing logic on its head just to please his master. How pathetic!”

Continue Reading