Symbol of justice
A bill for an Act to amend the Court of Appeal Act 2005 to increase the number of Justices of the Court of Appeal from 70 to 90 yesterday passed through the second reading at the House of Representatives.
Also, another bill seeking to amend the Federal High Court Act to increase the number of judges of the Federal High Court from 70 to 100 also scaled the second reading stage.
In the lead debate on the bills, House Leader, Hon. Mulikat Akande-Adeola, said the Court of Appeal which now operates in 17 divisions, has more than one panel sitting concurrently and continuously.
She said the present permissible number of justices was grossly inadequate to cope with the workload in all the divisions.
According to the lawmaker, the problem is even compounded by the fact that at no time has the court had full compliments of the 70 justices because of cases of ill health, retirement and the elevation of some of them to the Supreme Court.
Akande-Adeola argued that the minimum number of justices required in each division should not be less than five and for larger divisions requiring two panels continuously, the number of justices ought not to be less than ten.