Appoint more Supreme Court justices, Reps tell President, NJC

The House of Representatives has called on the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), and the National Judicial Council to appoint more justices of the Supreme Court.

 The House made the call at the plenary on Thursday following the adoption of a motion moved by the Chairman of the Committee on Judiciary, Mr Onofiok Luke.

 The President makes the appointment based on the recommendation by the NJC and subject to confirmation by the Senate.

 Adopting the motion, the House “urges the Federal Government to appoint more justices to the Supreme Court in order to accelerate the determination of cases and dispensation of justice.”

 Some judges of the apex court who retired have not been replaced.

 Moving the motion, Luke, who raised the motion of urgent public importance, stated that the Supreme Court needed more justices for efficient and timely disposal of the numerous matters before it.

 He said, “The House is aware that the number of justices of the Supreme Court has been reduced to 13 with the recent retirement of Hon Justice Amiru Sanusi from the court, and the situation will become worse owing to the impending retirement of another justice of the court in few months from now.”

“The House is worried that the reduction in the number of justices will slow down the dispensation of justice and affect the pace at which matters are meant to be determined, and will put the available number of justices of the court under immense pressure as there are many cases to be decided by the court.

 “The House is concerned that some cases stay undecided in the Supreme Court for over 10 years and that as of now, the diary of the Supreme Court is full with no date for a new appeal until 2021. The House is cognisant that appointing new justices to the Supreme Court will accelerate justice dispensation, expand the course of justice and increase citizens’ access to justice.”
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