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Insecurity: President Tinubu declares kidnappers must be treated as terrorists

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu (l) and Chief Justice of Nigeria Ariwoola at the Event in Abuja, FCT Photo: State House

*President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, at a Ramadan dinner with members of the Nigerian Judiciary, pledges his administration’s commitment to improving the welfare and working conditions of judicial officers in the country

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has condemned the reprehensible acts perpetrated by kidnappers across the country, declaring that individuals involved in such despicable crimes must be treated as terrorists.

Tinubu stated this Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at a Ramadan dinner with members of the Federal Judiciary, led by Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), in Abuja, FCT.

ConsumerConnect reports both serving and retired judicial officers, including two former CJNs, Justice Mahmud Mohammed and Justice Walter Onnoghen, attended the dinner.

The Nigerian leader, who restated the government’s resolve to defeat banditry, said those who resort to kidnapping children are cowards, incapable of confronting the might of the Nigerian Armed Forces.

Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Presidential media aide, in a statement, quoted President Tinubu to have said: “We must treat kidnappers as terrorists. They are cowardly. They have been degraded. They look for soft targets.

“They go to schools and kidnap children and cause disaffection. We must treat them equally as terrorists in order to get rid of them, and I promise you we will get rid of them.”

On review of salaries of judicial officers

The President pledged that his administration would continue to implement necessary reforms to improve the welfare and working conditions of judicial officers.

Tinubu also stated: “I recognise that the judiciary has one of the most unrewarded responsibilities.

“They are yet to modernise equipment and recordkeeping, and their progress towards improvement is slow.”

He further said: “When you look at the career path of a judicial officer, they cannot practice the vocation for which they were trained after retirement.

”While the framers of the law may have their reasons, I perceive this differently and see this from a fair compensation angle that should benefit all.”

The Nigerian President expressed gratitude to the country’s Judiciary for their dedicated service, acknowledging their role in upholding the respectability of the judicial arm of government.

“We will continue to support one another and bring Nigeria to that glorious dawn,” the President concluded.

In his remarks on the occasion, Chief Justice of Nigeria Ariwoola commended President Tinubu for the honour of hosting judicial officers to a Ramadan dinner, his commitment to judicial reforms, and for improving the welfare of judicial officers in the country.

The CJN prayed: “May the Lord continue to bless you and your administration. Let your ship land and berth beautifully.

“We shall continue to pray for your administration because there are many good things in the pipeline for Nigerians.”

Justice Ariwoola also lauded the current administration for achieving a significant milestone by appointing a full complement of 21 Justices to the Supreme Court, a feat he described as unprecedented.

Lateef Fagbemi, Attorney-General of the Federation (AGF) and Minister of Justice, expressed gratitude to the President for forwarding the Executive bill titled, “Judicial Office Holders, Salaries and Allowances, etc, Bill 2024” to the National Assembly (NASS).

Highlighting the stagnant state of Judges’ salaries and emoluments since 2007, Fagbemi commended the President’s courage, determination and compassion in taking decisive action.

The AGF noted: “It takes a man with a great heart, determination, and consideration to do what the President did.

“More than 300.3 percent increase has been given to the Judges. The President has done his own part, never mind that the bill is still with the National Assembly.

The Minister for Justice said: “In my short stay as the Attorney-General, I have come to observe that anything that concerns the Judiciary, you are very much interested in it, and I thank you for your abiding interest in the Judiciary.”

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