Wednesday, 28 September 2022 06:18

Bill increasing number of Appeal Court judges from 90 to 110 passes in Senate

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Senate has passed a bill seeking to increase the maximum number of judges in the appeal court from 90 to 110.

The upper legislative chamber passed the bill on Tuesday after Opeyemi Bamidele, chairman of the senate committee on judiciary, presented a report.

The bill was sponsored by Chukwu Utazi, senator representing Enugu north.

Increasing the number of judges, Bamidele explained, is an effort to eliminate delay in the delivery of justice.

According to him, the bill was designed to bring justice closer to litigants in line with the “current reality at expediting the administration of justice”.

“This is necessary in order to eliminate delay in the justice delivery systems, as it relates to the adjudicatory powers of the court,” the senator said.

“This proposed amendment undoubtedly is targeted at increasing the workload of the court and enhancing its effective performance.

“The one silent improvement of this bill is the aspect that seeks to integrate virtual court proceedings, which have become an integral part of our court proceedings.

“This also is in line with the guideline given to courts by the chief justice of the federation, as justice will no longer be delayed.”

Thereafter, the senate considered clauses of the bill in the “committee of the whole” and subsequently passed them.

In May 2021, a bill seeking to increase the number of justices of the court of appeal passed second reading at the house of representatives.

“The law pegs the maximum number of justices of the court at 90. This number has become inadequate given the recent creation of the new divisions of the court – Kano, Gombe, Awka, Asaba, etc.,” Onofiok Luke, lawmaker from Akwa Ibom who sponsored the bill at the house of representatives, had said.


The Cable