Legal: NBA President proposed constitutional amendment to alter the number of justices for the Supreme Court
  • By ATN
  • Date 2022-09-16
President, NBA

The President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Yakubu Chonoko Maikyau, SAN, has called for an amendment of the Nigerian constitution to increase the number of justices appointed to the Supreme Court and to limit the jurisdiction of the apex court to ”certain constitutional matters."

Mr Y. C. Maikyau, SAN made this call while delivering a valedictory address in honour of Hon. Justice Abdu Aboki, JSC, who retired from the Supreme Court effective 15th September, 2022.

 With the retirement of Hon. Justice Aboki from the Supreme Court, the number of Justices of the Court is now reduced to 13, 8 Justices less than the full complement of 21 Justices as prescribed by Section 230 (1)(b) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended). 

The NBA President therefore noted that it will still be a huge struggle for this Court to cope with the number of matters  already pending before it and those that are bound to arise, particularly with 2023 elections.

He further called for amendments that would reduce the number of matters that get to the Supreme Court and recommended, specifically, that the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court should be limited to certain constitutional matters for the Court to properly function.

The newly elected President described the forthcoming 2023 elections as one that “promises to be a watershed moment in our democratic experience” and admonished members of the legal profession to conduct themselves with the highest level of professionalism, integrity and probity while handling election petitions. 

He also urged members of the Judiciary to always bear on their shoulders the duty of ensuring that there is no appearance whatsoever, of compromise on their part. Nothing should be done which creates even a suspicion that there has been improper interference with the course of justice.

He described Hon. Justice Aboki, JSC (Retired) as a jurist who has discharged his judicial duties creditably and expressed, on behalf of the Nigerian Bar Association, his best wishes to His Lordship for a long and healthy life in retirement.

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