An uncovered huge cash payment to Supreme Court Justices, have been exposed again. Some of the payments, which were effected through a secret/ Operation Account, are alleged to be outrageous and outside the allowances approved by the Revenue Mobilisation Allocation and Fiscal Commission (RMAFC).
The Presidency is said to be in dilemma on what to do because all the former Chief Justices of Nigeria (CJN) and Justices of the Supreme Court were paid the jumbo allowances in cash from the unauthorised secret/ Operation Account.
The breakdown of what the past and present CJN and Justices have been receiving since 2009 is as follows: Salary—N750,000 (paid into account of each Justice); N750,000 monthly subsidy—(payment in cash); N950,000 quarterly subsidy (payment in cash); £10,000 (estacode) for trips (payment in cash); $25,000 (medical fees yearly (payment in cash); Unspecified payment for Business Class to them and spouses in cash depending on airline; $750 per night for number of days abroad in cash; N350,000 cash as welfare for each of the festivities (Easter, Christmas, Ramadan, Eid-el-Kabir); Chief Registrar—N700,000 as robe allowance; N200,000 for each of the festivities (in cash); and other lawyers—N500,000 as yearly dress allowance (In cash).
A top security source,: “Detectives have unearthed all manner of allowances which were paid and still being paid to Supreme Court Justices since 2009 from a Secret/Illegal/ Operation Account.
Some of these allowances are outside those ones approved by RMAFC. Our investigation confirmed the RMAFC approvals for CJN and the Justices as including regular salary and allowances: Monthly Basic Salary; Vehicle Maintenance/Fuelling; Personal Assistant; Domestic Staff; Entertainment; Utilities; Outfit; and Newspapers/Periodicals.
“Their Non-Regular Salary and allowances include: Accommodation (once annually); furniture (once in four years); annual leave bonus; severance/gratuity (after successful tenure); vehicle loan (optional); Duty Tour Allowance per night (where applicable) and Estacode per night (where applicable).
“In fact, one of the arrested Justices was in December 2014 paid N2million as a mark of welfare from the court to support him for his daughter’s wedding.
“So, we discovered a lot of discrepancies in the allowances being paid to the past Chief Justices of Nigeria and Justices of the Supreme Court since 2009. Even four of the Justices who are beneficiaries of the monetisation policy still earned double allowances.
“Technically, everyone was paid all these unauthorised allowances from the operation account based on the computation of the management. Nobody knows how the allowances were arrived at.
“And the situation has not changed. We have documents showing that all the Justices were paid N910, 000 in April and N710, 000 in May as allowances.”