House of Representatives has appealed to the executive arm of government to appoint new justices to the Supreme Court so as to expedite the hearing and determination of matters for effective and efficient justice delivery in the country.
This followed the unambiguous adoption of a motion brought under matters of urgent public importance by Hon. Patrick Umoh from Akwa Ibom State at plenary yesterday.
Presenting the motion, Umoh said the current number of justices of the apex court has dropped to all-time low of 11, making it 10 justices short of its full complement of 21 justices as stipulated by the Constitution.
He said this is post-election season where the court has to hear and determine electoral matters from different parts of the country within a short period of time as mandated by the constitution.
The lawmaker said the Supreme Court’s docket is full for the year 2023 as parties cannot have hearing date for matters filed within the year, except in election petitions, owing to a considerable volume of matters pending before the court.
Umoh expressed worry that the non-appointment of new justices to the Supreme Court has stalled expeditious, effective and efficient justice delivery; impeded transactions and economic development; limited citizen’s access to justice.
He stated that the situation put the current justices of the court under immense mental and physical pressure; and has affected the policy-making function of the court.
Umoh commended President Bola Tinubu for signing into the law the constitutional alteration unifying the retirement age and pension benefits of the judicial officers.
Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Federal Judiciary to ensure compliance with the resolution.