An account official of the Federal High Court yesterday shed light into the earning of federal judges.
He said a judge goes home with about N833,638.76 monthly made up of N528,638.76 basic salary and N305,000 welfare allowance.
The Chief Accountant of the Federal High Court, Mr. Awoyemi Adisa, stated this while testifying at the resumed hearing of the trial of Justice Adeniyi Ademola, his wife Olabowale and a lawyer, Joe Agi (SAN), at the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in Maitama, Abuja.
He gave a breakdown of other allowances due to a federal judge as including furniture allowance paid every four years, annual leave allowance, annual estacode for medical check-up abroad and car advance of about N7 million which the judges are to pay back in 60 months.
Adisa said he was unable to provide the total amount a judge was entitled to because he had never had cause to do the calculation.
“Apart from salaries and emoluments, the first defendant (Justice Ademola) is paid other allowances. Honourable judges of the Federal High Court are paid furniture allowance once in four years to the tune of N5,514,280.
“Aside that, they are entitled to N305,000 monthly welfare allowance. Also they are entitled to allowances for overseas medical check-up once in a year. The estacode allowance is paid. The figure for overseas medical check-up may not be the same from year to year because of fluctuation of dollars.
“For last year, they were paid air fare to the tune of N1.6m. On this record, the estacode is not stated. But the estacode was paid to them in dollars. Because of the volatility of the exchange rate, the money available could not cater for what was on the budget, so we applied to the Central Bank of Nigeria for dollars after providing them with the travelling documents of the judges.
“If I can remember, they (the judges were paid $6,300 as estacode. They are also entitled to leave allowance which is N180,474 once in a year. There are some seminars they attend and allowances as well air fare are paid to cover the seminars.
“To my knowledge, all they are paid is what is contained in this document. I don’t have the total figure of what goes to the judges because I have not totalled them,” he said.
When asked why the documents he brought to court only contained the judge’s earnings from 2009 to 2016, leaving out 2004 to 2008, the witness said: “Within the short period of time given to us to produce the documents this is what we could readily provide. Prior to 2009, the salaries and emoluments documents were prepared manually.
“It is noteworthy to mention that the court moved its headquarters from Lagos to Abuja in 2011. The manual records of salaries and emoluments were left behind in Lagos.”
Under cross-examination, he added that judges are paid car advance of N7,201,000 payable back for 60 months.
He said not only was Justice Ademola from a well-known family, being a grandson of a former Chief Justice of Nigeria, he was still entitled to benefit from the assets owned by his late grandfather.
Another prosecution witness, a ballistician with the Police, Taminu Jeremiah, gave evidence in relation to the two Avar Magnum Pump Action guns allegedly recovered from Justice Ademola’s Abuja home during a raid by men of the Department of State Services (DSS).
An Assistant Superintendent of Police, Jeremiah, who said he was the only surviving ballistician in the police, said the guns fell into the category of prohibited guns for which only the President could issue its licence to individuals. The trial continues today.