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Senate passes bill to increase Appeal Court Justices

The Senate on Tuesday passed a bill amending the Court of Appeal Act 2013 increasing the number of Justices of the Court of Appeal from 90 to 110.

This followed the adoption of the report of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters by Chairman of the Committee, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele.

In his lead debate, Bamidele said the bill sponsored by Senator Chukwuka Utazi sought to increase the number of Justices of Court of Appeal from 90 to 110.

According to him, the legislative intent of the amendment is to ensure that the court has the requisite manpower to allow cooperation of all the divisions of the court.

He said the bill was designed to bring justice closer to litigants in line with the current reality of 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

“These proposed amendments undoubtedly are targeted at increasing the workload of the court and enhancing its effective performance,” he said.

He said that stakeholders were unanimous in their support of the passage of the bill, given its strategic relevance to the justice sector reform.

He said the amendment would ultimately stimulate quick dispensation of justice

“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,” he said.

The Senate also stood down a bill for an act to provide for the rotation of power in the country.

This followed a submission by senators Bala Ib’n Nala and Deputy Senate President Ovie Omo-Agege that the bill was in conflict with the provision of the 1999 Constitution.

The bill was sponsored by Senator Abba Moro.

Presenting the bill, Moro said that it sought to enact legislation to amend provisions of the constitution and provide for rotations of the presidency among the geo-political zones of the country.

The Senate also passed the National Health Act amendment Bill 2014 and the Federal University of Medicine and Medical Science Egbe, Kogi establishment bill.

This follows the adoption of the reports of the Senate Committee on Health (Secondary and Tertiary)

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