Magistrates decry poor condition of service in Bauchi



The Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Bauchi State on Wednesday decried the “poor condition of service” under which its members were operating.

During the association’s two-day New Year celebration, Abdulmumini Adamu, state Chairman of the association, said magistrates in the state were compelled to board commercial vehicles alongside litigants and other commuters, saying “this has been exposing us to risk and subjecting the magistracy to ridicule”.

“We are referred to as resident magistrates but we are without official residence or quarters in our duty posts.

“In the area of training and retraining, magistrates in this jurisdiction are lagging behind, if comparison is to be made with other jurisdictions due to lack of sponsorship.

“The dynamic nature of the law demands for mandatory, continued legal education and others, such as workshops, seminars and conferences, where topical legal issues are discussed.

“The last term magistrates were sponsored by the state government to attend the NBA conference and the National Judicial Institute was in 2018, except by zoom or online,” he said.

The Chairman, who called on the state government to look into the matter and enhance the condition of service of the state’s magistrates, lauded Gov. Bala Mohammed for assenting to the Financial Autonomy Bill which guaranteed the independence of the judiciary in the state.

He, however, stated that “since the law came into force in August, 2022, the judiciary is yet to feel its impact”.

The chairman also complained that the take-home pay of members could not accommodate self-sponsorship, thereby, subjecting them to professional stagnation.

He said this was militating against the effective functioning of the judiciary and, by extension, hampered justice delivery and administration in the state.

“This is perilous. It renders the judicial system susceptible to corruption and monetisation of access to justice, making justice in favour of the highest bidder, God forbid.”

Also, the Bauchi State Chief Judge, Mrs. Rabi Umar, cautioned the magistrates to be just, fair and upright in the dispensation of justice in their respective courts.

Umar, who was represented by Justice Mu’azu Abubakar, warned that any magistrate found to be disrupting the sanctity of the judicial system would not be spared, as disciplinary measures would be applied accordingly.

She also commended the leadership of Magistrates’ Association of Nigeria in the state for their commitment and dedication to their calling, urging them to brace up for the new year, coming with the nation’s general elections.


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