In a post on X handle, Odinkalu suggested that campaigners demanding better treatment of judges are actually not interested in the greater good of society.”
He rhetorically asked why judges work so hard to appoint their children, wives and mistresses as successors if being a judge is such a hardship job. Odinkalu insinuated that the campaigners and judges are trying to lock in benefits for their future generations rather than addressing genuine welfare concerns.
By questioning their motives in this manner, the fiery lawyer essentially accused judges welfare campaigners of hiding their real intentions. He believes advocates making the case for reforms and increased remuneration in the judiciary are being economical with the actual truth.
Odinkalu’s poser ties into a broader narrative around perceived nepotism in Nigeria’s judiciary appointment system.
Recall that Chief Yomi Alliyu SAN countered Odinkalu on the allegation that Justice Lateef Ganiyu, one of the three appeal court justices that ruled on the Kano governorship case, is a nephew of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, who recently elevated Ganiyu to the appellate court bench. Alliyu said judges are becoming endangered species and do not get the reverence and remuneration they deserve compared to what some senior lawyers make.
“All practising lawyers do cut and paste. Though very rare, but we sometimes with a view to meeting the deadline we forget to edit matters in previous briefs until judges point same to us. However, we as lawyers enjoy the luxury of amendments, but do judges have the same luxury?”
“Chidi Odinkalu could sometimes aggravate issues to an extent that one would doubt is sincerity and sanity like saying a nephew of CJN should not be selected by the President of the Court of Appeal as a member of an Election Tribunal or appeal panel. In this case, the said justice of the Court of Appeal is not a nephew and if he were to be what law excludes him from hearing the case when the CJN was not a party to the petition?”
“The only conclusion that any rationale person can draw from this is that of assumptive ethnic tagging of all Yorubas as APC because of PBAT! World outlook of Prof Odinkalu should have made him to outgrow ethnic colored conclusions though his political leaning could have beclouded his cognitive ability!”
“When we are making millions and even billions some people hearing our cases including justices of the Supreme Court are getting 500k per month which is not up to what some of us as lawyers donate at our functions!”
“Judges deserve priesthood reverence! It is our duty to give them as very very senior lawyer of almost 4 decades at the Bar even if we are not practicing law or retired.”
Ubani stressed the need to appoint more judges to reflect caseloads and provide financing, welfare and infrastructure to enable the judiciary perform efficiently. He argued no other institution plays the role of God in society and judges’ pronouncements stand above all.
The comments have shed light on the challenging working environment for the judiciary in Nigeria. While some feel judges prepare their relatives to take over, others say they are overworked and require urgent reforms for justice administration to function optimally.
Credit: The Nigeria Lawyer