BY: Nick Nwaneri, Calabar
Cross River state governor and frontline presidential aspirant of the All Progressives’ Congress, (APC), Prof. Ben Ayade, has received the report of the State Judicial Welfare Review Committee with a pledge to announce a new salary template for the state’s judicial officers within one week.
Speaking at the venue of the presentation ceremony, the governor expressed optimism that the report will lay a foundation for a review of the welfare of judicial officers across the country.
According to him, “the request for the 200% raise for the salaries of judges and 100% for the salaries of magistrates is before me and you have been kind enough to give a second option of 100% and 50% respectively.
“Within one week, we will call all the judicial officers and magistrates back into the Executive Council Hall where we shall pronounce in clear elucidation all our own action points based on your report.
“We believe that this report will lay a foundation for the entire country to emulate. We believe that this report will form a basis for a corruption-free judiciary, we believe that this will form a basis for which the inducement and challenges that characterise the Nigerian space where people are compromised by circumstances of their services and conditions they may find themselves will come to an end.”
Ayade reiterated his administration’s commitment to the well being of Cross River judicial officers despite lean financial resorces the state is grappling with occasioned by meagre federal allocation.
He vowed to pay the new salary structure for the judicial officers when adjusted “without fail until I leave office.”
Earlier, Chairman of the Committee, Rtd Justice Eyo Effiom Ita thanked the governor for reposing confidence in them and for giving them the necessary support to carry out their assignment.
While calling for the inclusion of retired judges in the new welfare package, Justice Ita told the governor that he and his members did a thorough job.
Inaugurated on May 5th, 2022 with a mandate to review the welfare of Cross River judicial officers and come up with an acceptable template, other members of the committee included the state Head of Service, Timothy Ogbang Akwaji who served as Secretary, the state’s Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Tanko Ashang, Justice Syvelster Obi (Rtd) and Justice Francesca Isoni.