The National Conference yesterday recommended that Special Courts and the State Courts of Appeal be established to cater for respective activities including electoral disputes, anti-corruption, and Constitution courts.
The conference also wants the State Courts of Appeal established to ensure matters within the judicial purview be treated and dispensed without resorting to the Supreme Court. The conference believes that such courts would address judicial matters spending even it noted that the usual delay in the discharge of justice would be eliminated.
In the four courts advocated by the conference, namely constitutional, state court of appeal, anti-corruption and Alternative Disputes Resolution court, the delegates were of the view these courts would bring about expedited judicial action stressing that the people would be better off than they are with the present structure.
Further, the conference recommended that these special courts be devoid of the niceties of the conventional courts and their technicalities such as preliminary objections, interlocutory matters, injunctions and other obstacles usually brought up to slow down the discharge of justice.
Voting further on the matters of judiciary, the delegates voted in favour of a judge that commences a case to preside and adjudicate to its logical conclusion except where such judge retires or is promoted.
Accordingly to retired Justice Kutigi, the chairman of the conference, the provision was not only in the constitution but equally recommended by the Oputa Commission. “The provision is already there, but it has been observed in the breach”, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi explained noting that the decision to vote in that respect was just a reminder of the need to uphold the provision.
Meanwhile, delegates have recommended that the number of Supreme Court judges be increased from the present number to facilitate speedy discharge of cases. At present there are 15 Supreme Court judges, but the delegates want more.
But the recommendation for the state high court to be separated from the National Judiciary Instituted was vetoed as they voted against the committee’s recommendation.