…Judicial Budget Increased by N10bn
The National Assembly’s upper chamber has announced that it will have a debate on the armed security agents’ assault of the residence of a Supreme Court Justice, Justice Mary Odili, in Abuja.
When the Senate reconvenes, it will hold a plenary debate on the invasion under the heading “urgent national concern.”
Recall that security personnel raided the supreme court justice’s home on Friday.
However, Justice Mahamud Tanko, the Chief Justice of the Federation, remained silent for several hours following the invasion.
Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights, and Legal Matters, revealed what the Senate will do when it reconvenes on Monday in Abuja, during an oversight visit to the Chief Justice of Nigeria ((CJN)) in his Office.
“We cannot pretend not to be aware of the embarrassing situation on the invasion of Justice Mary Odili’s residence by security agencies on Friday Night,” Bamidele said. “We take the matter seriously, and by the time we return to plenary session, we will discuss the matter as urgent of National Importance.”
Speaking on the Judiciary’s budget for 2022, Senator Bamidele stated, “it is trite to mention that the 2022 budget budget estimate for the Judiciary is N120 billion, merely indicating a N10 billion increase over the sum which was appropriated in the 2021 Appropriation Act.”
“Even though this increase is not enough to meet the competing needs and challenges of the Judiciary, we must commend the present administration for listening to the voice of reason and clamour from various quarters advocating for increased funding for the Judiciary.”
Responding to the Chairman’s opening remark, the Chief Justice of Nigeria disclosed that there is no any interference from legislators or executives arm of government on their activities, adding that the National Assembly has not failed Judiciary.
He said: “Legislative arm of government has not failed us, there is nothing that we want that have not been granted by the lawmakers. You are doing right thing. If you see that something is going with wrong Judiciary, call our attention to it. There is no interference from Legislature and Executive on our activities.”
He submitted that the Judiciary is ready to accept correction if something is going wrong.
In her submission, the Ag. Chief Registrar of Supreme Court, Hajo Sarki Bello informed the lawmakers that 75 percent budget performance has been recorded in term of releases and 60 percent in expenditure .
She said that N368 million was appropriated to cater for the official vehicles of the Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria and the Hon. Justices of the Court.
He added that last year, eight Hon. Justices were appointed in to the bench of the court and the sum was therefore for the procurement of one additional vehicle each for eight newly appointed Justices in the interim pending the availability of the funds to procure the remaining vehicles.