To Check Corruption, Legal Practitioner Recommends Increased Salary for Judges: Do You Agree?

judge-wigA legal practitioner, Sebastine Hon (SAN), has berated the low wages being paid to Nigerian justices, saying the situation presents a dangerous trend in the fight against corruption in Nigeria. Drawing comparism between Nigerian justices and justices of United States of America, Hon said justices of Supreme Court in Nigeria earn lower than magistrates in the United States of America.

According to him, the recent interview granted by respected Justice Emeritus of the Supreme Court of Nigeria, Olufunmilola Adekeye, on the squalid conditions of service of judicial officers in Nigeria, both during and after service, was most embarrassing, to say the least. Justice Adekeye was quoted as saying that a justice of the Supreme Court of Nigeria earns less than N1 million monthly, while justices of the Supreme Court retire into squalor, so much so that she was personally retiring to a very un befitting accommodation, as does her other colleagues.

Hon therefore recommended that the least ranked judicial officer in Nigeria should take home not less than N1 million as basic salary, while Supreme Court Justices should take home not less than N5 million basic monthly salary, with justices of the Court of Appeal and judges of the High Court and other courts in that grade taking home not less than N4 million basic monthly salaries, respectively.

His words: “my investigations reveal that even a magistrate in the U.S.A earns more than a justice of the Nigerian Supreme Court and that a justice of the U.S Supreme Court earns four times more than a justice of the Nigerian Supreme Court… The chief justice of the U.S.A earns $223,500 basic annual salary. If converted to naira, that will stand at N33.5 million… almost four times more than what the chief justice of Nigeria takes as his basic annual salary, going by the provisions of the salaries and allowances of certain Political, Public and Judicial Office Holders Act, 2008.

Also, whereas an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the U.S.A earns an annual basic salary of $213,900, which translates to N32.08 million, his Nigerian counterpart earns an annual basic salary of N10.8 million…. From 1987, the salary of a magistrate in the U.S.A has been pegged at 92 per cent of the basic salary of a district court judge. And a district court judge’s basic annual salary is $174,000, which translates to N26,100,000. This is N16 million more than what a justice of the Supreme Court takes home annually in Nigeria! Also, 92 per cent of $174,000 is $160,000. If we convert this to naira, we will have N24 million… This is the annual salary of a magistrate in the U.S.A, which is more than the annual basic salary of a Supreme Court justice by N14 million!

He then added: “If we can hire a foreign coach and pay him up to N10 million monthly, I wonder why we should decidedly agree to pay peanuts to our judicial officers, thereby encouraging corruption.”

Culled from the Guardian


  1. The Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT) should take a queue and follow the foot steps of the members of Judiciary to request for appropriate salary Scales for her members. After all, What is good for one Goose is also good for the other.

  2. Haba Baba,God the judges are already receiving millions as wages now you want to increase it again….what is the faith of the judiciary staff/workers. Yet the judges can not do it alone.

  3. They r calling judiciary staff, sapotin staff how much is there salary it s a shame to nigerian judiciary, d judges r coruft they dont like d welferes of there staff shame on them, nd d chif judge of 9ja. The minister of justice there r selfish. Kuci kifin kukade wata rana kaya zakuci.

  4. D judiciary is made up of basicaly a judge nd court clerk…were as d judges take 1milion montly for d least person d highest in order of seniority takes b/w 1.5m to 2.8milion for state chief judges, also d state govmnts alocates houses to them wit vast land in g.r.a areas other tins like cars, fuel alowance, wardrope, furniture alownces each runs into milions particularly dat of furniture which is 8m yearly…now lets look @ d court clerk who hav no house not even a room, he has no alawnce nd no transport nd his salary is b/w 20,000 naira for d least nd 40 to 90thousnds for d seniors to directors, he lives in penury while d judges who cannot do without them swim in milions nd allownces monthly… Lookin @ d submissions dat d american judges earns 33m yearly lets not forget dat our judges receives bilions as bribe to decide election maters not to talk of other showdy deals…finaly they shuld resign nd give way if they cant give justice to nigerians wit all d milios they receive. Tnx

  5. It is a shame that hon Sebastine a whole SAN will speak with greedy and sentiment. If you cant do a survey and know how much Ghana pay their legal practitioners, then you are a fool. Stop comparing nigeria with USA. compared us with Ghana first. itiboribo


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