You can’t slash salaries of magistrates, Imo NBA tells Okorocha - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Tuesday 10 November 2015

You can’t slash salaries of magistrates, Imo NBA tells Okorocha

You can’t slash salaries of magistrates, Imo NBA tells Okorocha

The Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) in Imo State  yesterday declared that  Governor Rochas Okorocha has no constitutional power to slash wages of magistrates in the state.

The NBA also stated that magistrates were not under the executive arm of government and that it was erroneous to regard them as staff of the ministries under the executive arm.

A statement signed by Stanley Imo, Christian Ikwuoma, Max Nwokenta and Chris Ugwuorji branch chairmen of  Owerri, Orlu, Okigwe and Mbaise,  respectively stated: “The Bar in Imo state, hereby, condemns in strong terms and also rejects any purported new salary structure unilaterally formulated by the Imo State Government for Imo State magistrates.

The Bar further states and insists that the current salary structure for magistrates in the state be maintained without any reduction whatsoever.”

The statement further read: “There has not been any increment in the salaries of magistrates by the Owelle Anayo Rochas Okorocha-led administration in Imo State.

 In fact, the existing salaries and allowances paid to magistrates in the judiciary have been in operation since 1994. Under the Military Administration of Navy Captain J.N.J Aneke allowances such as security and transport were provided for magistrates.

Successive administrations of Udenwa and Ohakim improved on the allowances by adding other allowances such as upkeep, hazard, robbing, medical, journal and furniture. All these allowances have been harmonised as personal emoluments and taxable items. This is clearly evidenced in a circular written by the Head of Service of the state in May 2013.

The leadership of NBA in Imo State insisted that members of the legal  profession should not be used as scape goats for whatever misfortune that may have befallen the finances of Imo State in the recent past.

They maintained that “ contrary to the propaganda being fed to Imolites, it is incorrect and fallacious to state that the salaries of magistrates in the state are the highest in the federation.

 It is on record that magistrates in Akwa Ibom, Lagos,Bayelsa, Rivers states amongst others earn higher salaries than magistrates in Imo. Most of these states are oil producing states like Imo State.

They added, “many states that don’t have the resources we have are comfortably paying their workers. What is then the problem with Imo state.”

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