A Socio-Cultral Group under the umbrella of “Cross Riverians Progressive Initiative” has sent a “Save Our Soul” message to President Muhammadu Buhari, the Judicial Council of Nigeria, JCN and other stakeholders over unpaid salaries of the Customary Court Judges in Cross Rivers State for over two years.
This was contained in a statement made available to news men in Abuja on Thursday by the National Secretary of the Group, Dr Peter Odey.
The Group appealed to President Buhari, JCN and other stakeholders to, as a matter of urgency to prevail on the Cross Rivers State Governor, Professor Ben Ayade to pay the Judges their accumulated salaries and allowances without further delay.
According to Dr Ode, ” the Judges numbering 254 were appointed on February 4 2019, given their letters of appointment, sworn in by Governor Ayade and have since been performing their official responsibilities but sad enough, they have not been paid a kobo till date
“Findings revealed that the affected judiciary officers have been screened severally in anticipation of the payment of their salaries but nothing seems to be coming out of the screening exercises and no hope in sight that the salaries will be paid
“Our concern as the citizens of the state is the fate of the common people at the grassroots who are the targets of the Customary Courts, there will be miscarriage of Justice because corruption will set when salaries and other entitlements are not paid as being witnessed now in Cross Rivers State
“The Country is currently in a trying time as the economy is in bad shape and cost of living is too high to bear, our passionate appeal to Governor Ayade is to look into this matter urgently and do the needful in the interest of the people of the state he sworn to protect at all times
“We still believe that the governor is not in the known of the unpaid salaries and other entitlements of the Customary Court Judges seeing that he appointed them in the first instance and he will not have any reason to deny them their salaries and entitlements for over two years counting”.
The Group, while sympathising with the affected Judges over the untold hardship the delay in their payments might have caused them, pleaded with them to continue to be upright in discharging their duties in the interest of the state pending the amicable resolution of the payment of their accumulated salaries and entitlements in due course.