Senate reveals gains of autonomy for state judiciary in Nigeria

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The Senate Tuesday stated that the recent granting of autonomy to the State Judiciary by the Executive Arm of government will aid rapid dispensation of justice in States across the country.

President Muhammadu Buhari had last week assented to 16 out of the 35 constitution amendment bills transmitted to him in January 2023 for assent by the National Assembly one of which is the bill granting financial autonomy to the State Judiciary.

Commenting on the development at screening and confirmation of the Executive Secretary designate of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Anthony Ojukwu (SAN ) and Hon. Justice Lawal Adekunle Stanley, as President Designate, FCT Customary Court of Appeal , Chairman, Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, Senator Micheal Bamidele, said signing of the bill will aid rapid dispensation of Justice.

“Fiscal autonomy of state Judiciary will have direct impact in operations of Judiciary at the state level. especially in the decongestion of cases waiting for trial”, he said.

On the just concluded elections across the country, the Ekiti Central Senator said even though myriad of challenges were encountered in the course of the electoral process, the country will bounce back stronger than ever before.

“We may not have had perfect elections, however, there is a lot to learn from what transpired that will serve as guardposts to the country in our subsequent elections”, he said.

He added that the appointment of Justice Lawal Adekunle Stanley was made by Mr. President, pursuant to Section 266 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, as amended, which provides that: “The appointment of a person to the Office of the President of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja shall be made by the President on the recommendation of the National Judicial Council, subject to confirmation of such appointment by the Senate”.

“This appointment became necessary following the retirement of Hon. Justice Abbazih Musa Abubakar 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 High Court.

In his own remarks at the screening, the Executive Secretary of NHRC said that when he was first appointed, the morale of the staff and human rights awareness were low but wit!h his efforts in the last five years, he has been able to boost the morale of the staff of the Commission and the issues relating to police brutality are being addressed promptly by the Commission.

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