Adedayo Akinwale in Abuja
A group, the Cross Riverians Progressive Initiative (CRPI), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Judicial Council of Nigeria (JCN) and other stakeholders to prevail on the Cross Rivers State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, to pay Customary Court Judges their 24 months salaries and allowances without further delay.
The National Secretary of the group, Dr. Peter Odey, made the call in a statement issued yesterday in Abuja.
The group, while sympathising with the affected Judges over the untold hardship the delay in their payments might have caused them, pleaded with them to continue to be upright in the discharge of their duties in the interest of the state pending the amicable resolution of the payment.
It noted that the about 253 Judges were appointed on February 4, 2019, and were given their letters of appointment, sworn in by Ayade and have since been performing their official responsibilities, but sadly, they have not been paid a dime till date.
The CRPI added that it believed that the governor was not in the know of the unpaid salaries and other entitlements of the Customary Court Judges, “because he appointed them and would not have any reason to deny them their salaries and entitlements for over two years counting.”
According to the statement, “Findings revealed that the affected judiciary officers have been screened severally in anticipation of the payment of their salaries, but nothing seems to be coming out of the screening exercises and no hope in sight that the salaries will be paid soon.
“The country is currently in a trying time as the economy is in bad shape and the cost of living is too high to bear, so our passionate appeal to the governor is to look into this matter urgently and do the needful in the interest of the people of the state he swore to protect at all times.”
The group, therefore, expressed concern that there might be miscarriage of justice “because corruption would set when salaries and other entitlements are not paid as being witnessed now in Cross Rivers