The Senate on Tuesday passed an amendment Bill which provides for an increase in the number of Justices of the Court of Appeal justices from 90 to 110.
The Senate gave the approval after it considered and adopted the report of its Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the Court of Appeal Act, 2013 (Amendmen) Bill, 2022.
Leading the debate on the report, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Micheal Opayemi Bamidele said “the legislative intent of this amendment is to ensure that the court has the requisite manpower to allow for creation of more divisions of the court, and to bring the court closer to litigants in line with the current realities aimed at expediting dispensation of Justice.
“This is necessary in order to eliminate delay in the justice delivery system, as it relates to the adjudicatory powers of the court in tandem with its appellate jurisdiction.
“This proposed amendment, undoubtedly, is targeted at reducing the workload of the court and enhance it’s effective performance.”
He explained that the committee extended the amendment to other provisions of the bill whereby new clauses as well as sub-clauses were introduced in order to address plethora of issues bordering on administration of justice, as it relates to the Court of Appeal.
According to Bamidele, one of the salient provisions of the new bill is the aspect that seeks to integrate virtual court proceedings, which, he said, has become an integral part of court proceedings in recent time.
The new amendment also seeks to align the provisions of the exctant Act with the provisions of the Nigerian Correctional Services Act , and also seeks to formalise the convention of having five-member panel of justices to hear Election Appeals and issues on appeal that are novel, uncertain and recondite.
After the consideration and adoption of the report, the Bill was thereafter read the third time and passed.
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