Nasarawa Magistrates get Car Loans, Stakeholders laud Government’s gesture

A cross-section of stakeholders in the judicial sector in Nasarawa State have commended the government and the chief judge (CJ), Justice Aisha Bashir, for offering car loans to magistrates.

The stakeholders made the commendation in separate interviews with journalists on Saturday in Lafia.

According to them, the situation before now, where judges were boarding commercial vehicles with litigants, exposed them to so much danger.

Joseph Kigbu, chairman, Nigeria Bar Association (NBA), Lafia branch, however, said that the welfare of lower court judges in the state still fell below expectation.

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He said that the state government, through the CJ, had given soft loans to magistrates to buy vehicles to address the dangers hitherto being faced by the judges.

Mr Kigbu said that he was not aware of any magistrate in the state at the moment without a vehicle.

“The issue of means of transportation is one key thing that if a judge does not have, exposes his life to danger.

“Imagine a judge boarding the same commercial vehicle with litigants, where a litigant might even be the driver,” he said.

Mr Kigbu added that judges in the state needed more welfare packages befitting of the office they occupy and given the nature of their responsibilities.

Similarly, Monday Asoloko, a lawyer in Lafia, said the vehicle soft loans for the magistrates by the state government were commendable.

Mr Asoloko, however, appealed that the judges of Area Courts should also be considered to benefit from the noble gesture.

He also appealed to the CJ to look into the salaries and allowances of the lower court judges.

“What a judge takes home as salary is not encouraging and believe me, I do not envy them.

“Imagine a judge having his child sent away from school for non-payment of school fees.

“Such a judge will be tempted to accept gratification if his salary is poor to handle his needs,” Mr Asoloko added. [NAN]

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