The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to appoint more justices to the Supreme Court to accelerate determination of cases and dispensation of justice.
This followed the adoption of a motion of Urgent Public Importance moved by Rep. Onofiok Luke (APC-Akwa Ibom) during plenary presided over by Deputy Speaker, Idris Wase on Thursday.
The motion was titled “Call on the Federal Government to Appoint More Justices to the Supreme Court to Expedite Justice Delivery in Nigeria.
Presenting the motion, Luke said that the Supreme Court of Nigeria was the apex and final court of the land with original and appellate jurisdiction over the entire country.
He said that the court had the mandate to adjudicate on disputes and controversies arising from any subject matter.
The lawmaker added that the court was thus faced with the responsibility of handling high volume of cases with minimal number of Justices.
“This house is aware that the number of justices of the Supreme Court has been reduced to 13 with the recent retirement of Justice Amiru Sanusi from the court.
“The situation will become worse owing to the impending retirement of another justice of the court in a few month time.
“The house is also aware that section 230(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution prescribes the maximum number of the justices of the Supreme Court to be 21 and the court in its history has not had a full complement of the prescribed 21 number of justices,” he said.
The lawmaker expressed concern that the reduction in the number of justices would slow down the dispensation of justice and affect the pace at which matters were meant to be determined.
“This will also put the available number of justices of the court under immense pressure as there are many cases to be decided by the court,” he added.
He said that some cases in the court were undecided for over 10 years adding that the court’s diary was full with no date for a new appeal until 2021.
The house agreed that that appointing new court Justices would speed up the system of justice dispensation and increase citizens’ access to justice in the country.