BY OKEY NDIRIBE & EMMAN OVUAKPORIE
ABUJA—THE House of Representatives, yesterday, rejected attempt to give constitutional backing to geo-political zone as a political administrative system.
The legislators also kicked against the creation of another layer of Court of Appeal, to be tagged State Court of Appeal,as well as attempt to redefine and rearrange legislative powers shared by the three tiers of government.
At plenary, the bill for an Act to alter the 1999 constitution by creating State Court of Appeal, introduction of State Legislative list and adjustment/modification of legislative powers of government between the federal and state governments, was rejected, as the lawmakers argued that if passed, it would amount to the subversion of the Nigerian constitution and destabilising the existing federal system of government that has been built over the years.
Mr. Emmanuel Jimeh, who sponsored the bill, in his presentation, said the bill was authored by the former President of Nigerian Bar Association, NBA, Mr. Olisa Agbakoba. The bill seeks to introduce federalism into the country’s judicial system through the creation of State Court of Appeal in the geo-political zones.
He explained that the establishment of the State Appeal Court would not only ensure court decongestion but ease and hasten delivery of judgement as state governors in a geo-political zone were expected to jointly constitute the judges.
He stressed that the current arrangement had bogged down justice delivery, adding, “if passed, it will ensure a quicker and more efficient justice delivery system.”
On the need for constitutional backing for geo- political zones, Jimeh said it would ensure the effectiveness of the proposed State Court of Appeal.
During the debate, no one spoke in favour of the second reading of the bill.