Constitutional Amendment: National Assembly To Restructure Judiciary
By admin On 3 Jul, 2017 At 01:31 AM | Categorized As Politics | With 0 Comments

National assembly senateThe National Assembly has proposed a slight adjustment in the ranks of the National Judicial Council (NJC), Leadership Friday can authoritatively report.

In the ongoing constitution amendment by the federal legislature, the 1999 constitution has been altered to reflect that the president of the Court of Appeal will now be the deputy to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) who is the the chairman of the NJC, instead of the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court after the CJN.

This is contained in a proposed amendment titled, ‘A Bill For An Act to alter the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 to further strengthen the judiciary for speedy dispensation of justice; and for related matters’ the hierarchy of the NJC which comprises of the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) and the Chairman, with the next most senior Supreme Court Justice as the deputy”.

The amendment also brings the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) under the direct supervision of the NJC, as against the the current practice in which the CCT is under the executive arm of government, through the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC).

Also, the provision for five retired Justices selected by the Chief Justice of Nigeria from the Supreme Court or Court of Appeal as members of the NJC is being altered to reflect that three retired Justices of the Supreme Court to serve for a period of three years only, and two retired Justices of the Court of Appeal, to serve for a period of three years only.

According to a document exclusively obtained by our correspondent, the President of the National Industrial Court who is currently not included in the composition of the NJC has also been included, while the minimum qualification for a practicing lawyer to be appointed into council has been reduced from 15 years to ten years.

The amendment specifically guarantees the president of the Nigerian Bar Association as automatic member of the NJC, and four senior members of the Nigeria Bar Association who has been qualified to practice for a period of not less than ten years, and nominated by the national executive committee of the Nigerian Bar Association to serve as members of the NJC for a period of two years only.

This amendment seeks to alter the current provision which allows five members of the Nigerian Bar Association who have been qualified to practice for a period of not less than fifteen years, at least one of whom shall be a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, appointed by the Chief Justice of Nigeria on the recommendation of the national executive committee of the Nigerian Bar Association to serve for two years and subject to re-appointment.

Meanwhile, a proposed amendment to section 21 of the constitution is seeking to bring the CCT under the direct supervision of the NJC.

The new amendment adds to the existing functions of the council the power to recommend to the President from among the list of persons submitted to it by the Federal Judicial Service Commission, persons for appointment the National Industrial Court and Code of Conduct Tribunal.

Section 21 (a) of the constitution provides that the NJC shall have the power to “recommend to the President from among the list of persons submitted to it by (i) the Federal Judicial Service Commission, persons for appointment to the offices of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Justices of the Supreme Court, the president and justices of the Court of Appeal, the Chief Judge and Judges of the Federal High Court, and (ii) the Judicial Service Committee of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, persons for appointment to the offices of the Chief Judge and Judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, the Grand Kadi and Kadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the President and Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”.

But in the new amendment, the NJC shall be empowered to “recommend to the President from among the list of persons submitted to it by the Federal Judicial Service Commission, persons for appointment to the offices of Chief Justice of Nigeria, the Justices of the Supreme Court, the President and Justices of the Court of Appeal, the Chief judge and Judges of the Federal High Court, the President and Judges of the National Industrial Court, the Chief judge and Judges of the High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Chairman and Members of the Code of Conduct Tribunal, the Grand Kadi and Kadis of the Sharia Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and the President and Judges of the Customary Court of Appeal of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja”.

LEADERSHIP

About -

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>


21