At last, Senate has given approval to increase the number of Appeal Court judges from 90 to 110 judges in order to bring justice closer to people.
The approval was sequel to the report presented by Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary and Legal Matters , Senator Opeyemi Bamidele on the floor of the Senate.
Opeyemi, while presenting the report, told the lawmakers that the intent of the amendment of Court of Appeal Act is to ensure that the court has the requisite manpower in order to provide for the creation of more divisions of the court.
He 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 its effective performance.”
After the presentation, the bill scaled into third reading giving approval to increase the number of Appeal Court judges from 90 to 110.
It could be recalled that the Court of Appeal Act, 2013 (Amendment) Bill, 2021 (SB.670) was sponsored by Senator Chukwuka G. Utazi (Enugu North Senatorial District).
The Bill was read for the first time on Wednesday 10th February, 2021.
On Wednesday 24th March, 2021, the Senate at its plenary sitting deliberated on the general principles of the bill. After extensive deliberations, the bill was read for the second time, and referred to the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, for further legislative action and to report back with its recommendations.