by crossriverwatch admin
Chief Judge of Cross River State, Justice Okoi Ikpi Itam has called on the governor of Cross River State, Senator Liyel Imoke to as a matter of urgency review the salary structure and improve the condition of service of the State Magistrates.
In a Speech delivered recently as the Chief Judge and Chairman of the State Judicial Service Commission while administering oaths of office to 28 magistrates in Calabar, Justice Ita said the condition of service of the magistrates need to be looked into urgently and passionately.
He said the delicate nature of magistrates jobs which will tell on their integrity, efficiency, welfare and the security of their person and that of their family must always be uppermost in the mind of government, judiciary and the personnel.
While calling on the State governor to urgently look into this request, the chief judge said all Magistrates in the state need to be motivated for effective service delivery.
“All magistrates need to be motivated for effective and efficient service delivery.
“By Custom and ancient tradition, they are to be provided with official means of transportation and properly secured living quarters amongst other basic needs peculiar to those charged with the administration of justice in our dynamic and contentious society.
“It is worth a sad commentary also that our magistrates are presently placed on the same salary structure and conditions of service of the core civil service.
“They enjoy no motivational input like security allowance despite the delicate type of work they do.
“Curiously too many of their support or administrative staff under the Judiciary Staff Union are better placed in terms of take home pay, having had their condition of service improved and harmonized nationwide in 2010.
“Thus,the registrars of courts now have terminal scale of grade level 17, but that of our magistrates terminate at grade level 16. Some have remained on standstill in that grade level for between 8-19 years. This is most sad and uncomplimentary.
“We therefore pray His Excellency, the governor to kindly/urgently approve and give effect to the Comprehensive Scheme of Service for the Magistrates as recommended in 2013 by the Judicial Service Commission.” he said.
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