State judiciary autonomy bill will decongest court cases – Senate
The Senate on Tuesday said the recent autonomy given to the state judiciary by the Executive Arm of government will aid the rapid dispensation of justice in states across the country.
Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd) had last week assented to 16 bills out of the 35 constitutional amendment bills transmitted to the presidency in January 2023 which included the bill granting financial autonomy to the State Judiciary.
Speaking, chairman of the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, during the screening and confirmation of the Executive Secretary-designate of National Human Rights Commission, Anthony Ojukwu, SAN for another term and Justice Lawal Stanley, as president D
Designate, Federal Capital Territory Customary Court of Appeal, said the signing of fiscal autonomy for the state judiciary will aid the rapid dispensation of justice at the state level.
It would also help in the decongestion of cases being handled at the state level, Bamidele added.
He said the “fiscal autonomy of state judiciary will have a direct impact in operations of judiciary at the state level. especially in the decongestion of cases waiting for trial.”
On the nomination of Justice Lawal as president of the FCT Customary Court of Appeal, he said the appointment became necessary following the retirement of Hon. Justice Abbazih Saddeeq, after attaining the mandatory retirement age of Sixty five (65) years, as provided in Section 291 (2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended.
During the screening, Justice Lawal appealed to the Senate to ensure that all issues related to family and matrimonial cases are handled by the Customary Courts instead of the High Court.
He noted that “It will be in the interest of the country if the lawmakers can re-assign some jurisdictions in favour of Customary Courts in order to relieve the High Courts. Most family and matrimonial issues are related to custom and Islamic law.
“I do not see any reason why customary courts are not saddled with matrimonial cases instead of High Court.”
Also speaking while he was been screened by the Senate Panel for another term in office, the Executive Secretary of NHRC, Ojukwu, said his reappointment would enable him build on his efforts in the last five years where he’d boost the morale of the staff of the commission and issues relating to police brutality will continually be addressed promptly by the commission.