The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Government to appoint 9 new Justices to the Supreme Court in order to expedite the hearing and determination of matters for effective and efficient justice delivery in the country
The resolution followed the adoption of a motion of urgent national importance by Rep. Patrick Umoh (PDP-AkwaIbom) during plenary in Abuja on Thirsday.
In his motion, he stated that the current number of justices of the apex court had dropped to all-time low of 11 Justices, making it 10 justices short of its full complement of 21 justices.
This according to him is as stipulated by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He said the Supreme Court’s docket is full for the year 2023 as parties could not have hearing date for matters filed within the year, except in election petitions.
This according to him is owing to a considerable volume of matters pending before the court.
He expressed concern that the non-appointment of new Justices to the Supreme Court had stalled expeditious, effective and efficient justice delivery as well as impeded transactions and economic development.
Umoh further said that it had also limited citizen’s access to justice and put the current Justices of the court under immense mental and physical pressure and has affected the policy-making function of the court.
He commended President Bola Tinubu, for his promise to promote the rule of law and support the Judiciary.
He also lauded the president for signing into the law the constitutional] alteration unifying the retirement age and pension benefits of the judicial officers;
The House while adopting the motion mandated its Committee on Federal Judiciary to ensure compliance with the resolution.
NAN reports that the recommendation from the National Judicial Council for the appointment of 8 new judges in 2020 after the confirmation by the Senate increased the number to 21 Justices.
After the death of Justice Sylvester Ngwuta, the retirement of Justice Bode Rhodes-Vivour, the death of Justice Samuel Oseji, the retirement of Justice Mary Odili, the retirement of Justice Ejembi Eko, the retirement of Justice Abdu Aboki and the resignation of Chief Justice Tanko Muhammad it became a total number of 13 Justices in the Apex Court including the Chief Justice of Nigeria.