By Michael Ofulue, Osogbo
The Nigeria Bar Association, NBA has demanded improved welfare for Magistrates and Presidents of Customary Courts in Osun State.
They said there is urgent need for the State government to review the welfare of judiciary officers for the sake of efficient service delivery.
In a letter to Governor Ademola Adeleke, the NBA berated the poor conditions of service of the judicial personnel, ranging from poor emoluments, infrastructure deficit and serviceable cars among others.
The letter to the Governor was signed by the Chairman and the Secretary of the Osogbo Branch of the NBA, Messers Yemi Abiona and Ibrahim Hassan respectively.
“Many states in the federation, including some of our neighbouring states like Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo and Ekiti with which we share common heritage have taken giant and commendable stride to guarantee enviable condition of service for their magistrates having regards to the delicate nature of their jobs and particularly the need to insulate them from any kind of immoral or corrupt inducement and distraction”.
The NBA also pointed out that most of the buildings housing the courts were old and almost dilapidating structures, leaking when it rained, while the crevices in their walls are safe haven for snakes and other reptiles.
The Lawyers noted that “some of the officials had not been given official cars since appointment over ten years ago,while those who were allocated official cars got theirs twelve years ago or thereabouts”.
The NBA maintained that their concern for the judiciary as Lawyers was borne out of the pride of place which the judiciary occupies in a democracy and which the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria had entrusted on the Institution.
“As legal professionals within the State united under the Nigerian Bar Association with a mission to promote the Rule of Law, we feel obliged morally and ethically to inform Your Excellency about any development that is capable of hindering the smooth and efficient administration of Justice”.
They commended Governor Ademola Adeleke for his indelible mark on the pattern of governance in Osun State and with this, Osun, in no time will become a model and State to beat among it’s peers in Nigeria.