Retired Kogi Judge Decries Unpaid Benefits After Exit

Professor Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye

… Applauds 70-Year Retirement Age If Judges Stay Fit


Retired Kogi State High Court Justice, Professor Alaba Omolaye-Ajileye has expressed regret over the state government’s failure to pay his retirement benefits and gratuity, one year after exiting the bench upon turning 65.

In an interview with Thisday, the visiting professor at National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) disclosed he is not alone, as judicial officers retired in the past two years are also being owed.

He maintained it is a constitutional obligation for state governments under Section 291 to promptly pay judicial pensions and severance.

Justice Ajileye hailed the recent increase in judicial retirement age to 70 as positive, allowing experienced judges to contribute more.

However, he suggested regular medical checks to confirm fitness given the strains of office and also, advocated additional court staff and technology to ease the health impacts of longhand writing of proceedings.

On judicial appointments, the former judge identified lack of transparency, purposeless recommendations, privilege of connections, and imbalanced federal character as key issues. He recommended an objective merit-based system open equitably to both Bar and Bench.

Justice Ajileye, known for expertise on electronic evidence, backed embrace of virtual court technology to enhance efficiency, accessibility and case management.

He expressed confidence in President Tinubu’s governance approach so far to transform corruption, security, and the economy.

The erudite jurist Covered wide-ranging perspectives on improving administration of justice during his illuminating interview. However, the non-payment of his benefits after a distinguished career shows the continuing welfare and motivational challenges judges face.

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