Reps Introduce Bill To Increase Supreme Court Justices Retirement Age To 75

The House of Representatives is considering raising the retirement age of judiciary workers in Nigeria to 75.

A bill seeking to alter relevant sections of the constitution to effect the change passed first reading at the House on September 29, 2020.

Chairman of the House Committee on Judiciary, Mr Onofiok Luke, who sponsored the bill, said in the explanatory memorandum on the proposal that the amendment would promote experience and quality in the judiciary.

It reads, “A bill to alter the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Cap. C23, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, to increase the retirement age for judicial officers in order to secure judicial independence, protect judicial officers from pressure, and promote experience and quality in justice delivery in Nigeria, and for related matters.”

The bill seeks to alter Section 291 of the constitution by substituting the word “seventy” in Line 2, Subsection 1 with the word “seventy-five,” and substituting for the word “sixty-five” with the word “seventy” in Line 3, Section 2.

Currently, High Court judges retire at 65 years old, while those of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court retire at 70.

In a related development, the House is also considering setting time frames for various categories of courts in Nigeria within which they must dispense justice in criminal and civil cases before them.

Luke, who sponsored the bill, also said in the explanatory memorandum on the legislation that the proposal is to fast-track justice delivery.

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