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Niger committed to welfare of magistrates, judges – Bello

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Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger on Friday said that the state government was committed to the welfare of magistrates and judges in the state.

Bello, represented by the Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mr Nasara Danmallam, stated this at the maiden Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN), Niger State Chapter Annual Week in Minna.

“Let me assure you that this government is committed to your welfare and will do everything it has promised to do,’’ the governor said.

According to him, the welfare of magistrates is of paramount importance as they are critical parts of the foundation of the judiciary.

He commended the state chapter of MAN for shelving its planned strike action to demand for upward review of salaries; provision of official vehicles; and payment of promotion arrears.

“I will like to thank MAN and the Sharia Court judges for agreeing not to embark on strike.

“Some of the things you are asking for cannot be done overnight, I hope you will continue to be patient.

“All the issues are being addressed and I am aware that just yesterday, parts of the backlog of your allowances were paid.

“This is to demonstrate our commitment to solving all these issues you have raised,’’ the governor said.

He lauded the cordial relationship between the executive and the judiciary since the inception of his administration.

“I want to commend the existing cordial relationship between the judiciary and the executive.

“I know over the past few years, we have really put the judiciary under pressure as some of you served in our Commissions of Inquiry.

“We hope you will continue to give us all the necessary assistance we need to move the state forward,” Bello said.

Earlier, the State Chairman of MAN, Mr Gimba Gabi, called for frequent training to help magistrates keep track with the dynamics of law and practice.

Gabi also appealed to the state government to improve the standard of living of lower court judges through prompt payment of their entitlements and provision of conducive working atmosphere.

Also speaking, the Chief Judge of Niger, Justice Maria Dzukogi, noted that there were 86 magistrate courts across the state with jurisdiction in both civil and criminal cases.

Dzukogi, represented by Justice Ahmed Bima, enjoined magistrates in the state to live above board by acting within the confines of the law.

She frowned at the disturbing trend of magistrates granting bail in matters relating to capital offences, which they had no jurisdiction to entertain, urging them to desist from it.

Dzukogi urged magistrates to build a judicial system that would safeguard truth, fairness and justice.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the theme of the MAN week is: “Enhancing the Quality of Justice Delivery in the Lower Courts”.


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