The Magistrates Association of Nigeria (MAN) in Bauchi State has decried the “poor condition of service” under which its members are operating. During the association’s New Year celebration, the Chairman, Abdulmumini Adamu, lamented that magistrates in the state were compelled to board commercial vehicles alongside litigants and other commuters, which he described as risky and ridiculous.
He said: “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.”
According to him, the dynamic nature of the law demands mandatory, continued legal education, workshops, seminars and conferences, where topical legal issues are discussed.
“The last term magistrates were sponsored by the state government to attend the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) conference and the National Judicial Institute (NJI) 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 Governor 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 had yet to feel its impact. Bauchi State Chief Judge, Mrs. Rabi Umar, cautioned the magistrates to be just 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 MAN 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.
Source: The Guardian