The Ministry of Justice yesterday said the sum of N258 million is paid to 860 lawyers in its service as robe allowance.
It said each lawyer is paid N300,000 annually.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, gave this revelation when he appeared before the Senate Committee on Judiciary and Human Rights and Legal Matters to defend the 2022 budget estimates of the Ministry.
Senator Emmanuel Orker-Jev had raised concern about personnel costs in the Ministry during the session.
He sought to know the number of lawyers in the Ministry.
The Minister explained that the total number of lawyers in the Ministry is about 860 and entitled to N300,000 each as robe allowance.
“He said: “860 lawyers are entitled to N300,000 annually as robe allowance.
Senator Orker-Jev further asked the Minister how the allowance was being paid.
The Minister responded that “it is an annual payment. It is a tradition.”
The Senator said, “I have used robes for more than 10 years.”
The Chairman of the Committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele said the money is paid to make the lawyers appear neat and presentable in court.
He said, “I make sure that our lawyers are well presented in court.”
The Ministry proposed to spend a total of N11.8 billion for the 2022 fiscal with a personnel cost of N3.9billion, overhead cost (exclusive of Legal Services) of N2.4bn , Legal Services of N2billion and Capital budget of N3.5billion.