Nigerian Army, NA; Nigerian Air Force, NAF; Nigerian Correctional Service, NCS and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, have endorsed proposal by Senate to increase the number of Justices of the Court of Appeal from 90 to 110.
They thrown their weight behind the proposal during a public hearing on Court of Appeals Act (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in Abuja.
Speaking during the hearing, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General, Farouk Yahaya represented by the Director of Legal Services (Army), Major General M. Y. Wambai supported the provision of amendment of Appeal Court which sought to increase the number of Justices, adding that the amendment is in accordance with extant laws.
He said: “The bill is to amend the Court of Appeal (Amendment) Act, 2013 by increasing the number of Justices of the court of Appeals from 90 to 110.
“Having juxtaposed the bill with the court of Appeal (Amendment) Act, 2013, the Nigerian Army opined that the amendment of section 1 of the principal Act is in accordance with extant laws.”
In its submission, the Nigerian Correctional Service, said that the increase will help to fast tract justices in the country.
According to the presentation by representative of the Service, “we are in agreement with the proposed agreement as it will help to fast tract justices delivery.”
Earlier in his presentation, the chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele (APC Ekiti Central), said the bill sought the increase number of Justices from 90 to 110 to allow for creation of more divisions of the court.
He added that bill is intended to bring the court closer to litigants in order to ensure speedy disposal of cases and to de-clog the docket of the court.
“The second Bill under consideration is the Court of Appeal Act, 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (SB.670). This Bill was sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Godfrey Utazi (Enugu North Senatorial District).
“The Bill primarily seeks to amend the Court of Appeal (Amendment) Act, 2013 by simply increasing the number of Justices of the Court from the present Ninety (90) to One Hundred and Ten (110) Justices to allow for creation of more divisions of the Court; and elevation of judges from the lower courts to the Appeal Court and bring the Court closer to litigants in order to ensure speedy disposal of cases and to de-clog the docket of the court.
“The court also exercises appellate jurisdiction to the exclusion of any other court of law in Nigeria over decisions of lowers court,” Senator Bamidele stressed.
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