Analysing the level of corruption in Nigeria, Mr Babajide Ogunsanwo on Friday said that a number of factors have contributed to the extension of the anti-corruption war to the judiciary in Nigeria, identifying their remuneration as one of them.
He told Channels Television that the salary of the Chief Justice of Nigeria was poor when compared to that of the United States.
“The Chief Justice of the United States, Justice John Robert, has an annual salary of $255,000. With the salary, he can buy a decent home in Washington, perhaps somewhere in north-east street.
“Even if he wants to save his annual salary to buy this home of about 1.2 million dollars, he needs to save his salary for just five years.
“It is going to be easy because he will likely get a mortgage.
“In Nigeria the annual basic salary of the Chief Justice of Nigeria is just 3.3 million Naira, plus all allowances, 6.7 million Naira.
“If the Chief Justice of Nigeria chose to go to some decent place in Ikoyi, Lagos, and wanted to buy this similar home, it will cost him 350 million Naira.
“Even if the Chief Justice in the U.S. needs to save for five years to buy a house, the Chief Justice of Nigeria will need to save for 50 years,” he explained.
He says his analysis identifies one of the sources of why there is corruption.
Highlighting that the judges are not supposed to be corrupt, he insisted that “the air they breathe is infected with the bacteria called corruption”.
Mr Ogunsanwo said that Nigeria’s anti-corruption score had been rising slowly at a little about 2.4%, a trend he pointed out was very insignificant.
“If it continues like this, before we get to 5/10 it will be the year 2030,” he stated.
The analyst further identified the inconsistency in the position of the Chief Justice in Nigeria as another factor that had affected the system.
“The continuous change has brought with it, inconsistencies, since the justices have different temperaments.
“Some are more conservative and some are more liberal,” he added.