Occasioned by the recent legal battle between the judiciary and Federal Government over poor renumeration of Nigerian judges, Chief Whip of the Senate, Senator Orji Uzor Kalu has charged the Chairmanship nominee of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC) Mohammed Shehu on improved funding for the nation’s Judiciary particularly Federal courts.
Recall that no fewer than sixty Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs) had recently approached the National Industrial Court in Abuja where they Instituted a legal battle against the Federal Government on the poor salaries of Nigerian Judges.
However, Shehu had Tuesday appeared before the Senate Committee on National planning and economic affairs headed by Senator Olubunmi Ayodeji Adetumbi during which he responded to series of questions from members of the committee.
During the course of the screening, Kalu sought Shehu’s plans to resolve issues of poor renumeration of both serving and retired judges and other judicial workers. The Abia-North Senator also requested the RMAFC Chairmanship nominee’s intentions to improve funding of the supreme Court as well as other courts within the jurisdiction of the Federal government.
Kalu inquired; “Let me thank President Buhari for deeming you fit to nominate you to head this critical organisation, I must say that from my personal relationship with you, that you are capable for this Job. However, I will like you to tell this Honourable Senate committee representing the interest of millions of Nigerians on your thoughts over the poor funding of our nation’s judiciary especially the judges and how you intend to improve their renumeration.
Responding , Shehu posited that a functional judiciary system is required for the nation’s democracy to thrive. On the renumeration of judges Shehu regretted the current situation whereby newly appointed judges are placed on the same salary with other serving judges, pledging to look into it holistically when he eventually assumes office after the Senate’s confirmation.
On improving the efficiency of the commission Shehu revealed his plans to digitalise the operations of the RMAFC, while also stating his intention to quell the infighting amongst the various revenue agencies of the Federal Government. He promised to collaborate with the agencies to harmonise over issues of whose jurisdiction it is to collect revenue on behalf of the Federal Government.
The screening held at the new Senate Wing of the Senate had in attendance the National Deputy Chairman (North) of the APC, Senator Abu Kyari, Adamawa APC Gubernatorial flag bearer, Senator Aishatu Dahiru Ahmed (Binani), Kaduna State APC Gubernatorial flag bearer, Senator Uba Sani, Senator Tanko Almakura, Senator Yusuf A. Yusuf, Senator Gershom Bassey, Senator Klepas Moses among others.
President Muhammadu Buhari had nominated Mohammed Shehu as the Chairman of the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC). This was contained in a letter written by the president to the Senate seeking confirmation of the nomination.
Recall that Engr Elias Mbam, the former chairman, had in a letter dated April 11, 2022, resigned his appointment to contest for the office of the Governor of Ebonyi state under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC).