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Nigeria: Senate Passes Bill Increasing Retirement Age of High Court Judges

The bill seeks to extend the retirement age of High Court judges from 65 to 70 years.

The National Assembly has directed its Clerk to transmit the Constitution Alteration Bill 20 which approves a uniform retirement age for judicial officers in Nigeria to the president for assent.

This followed the adoption of a motion titled: “Passage of Constitution (Fifth) Alteration Bill No. 20 (Uniform Retirement Age for Judicial Officers), 2023” at plenary on Tuesday.

The bill seeks to extend the retirement age of High Court judges from 65 to 70 years.

Currently, the mandatory retirement age of the Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court justices is 70. Therefore, the bill seeks to bring the retirement age of High Court judges to be at par with that of the justices of the two appellate courts.

The motion which was sponsored by the Chairman of the Senate Ad hoc Committee on Constitution Review, Ovie Omo-Agege, was in line with provisions of the Authentication Act.

“Recall that on Tuesday, April 4, the Clerk to the National Assembly was directed to transmit Constitution Alteration Bill No. 47 (Establishment of State Security Council) after it met the requirement of Section 9(2) of the Constitution to Mr President for his assent.

“Recall also that Sokoto State House of Assembly was among the State Houses of Assembly that were yet to forward their resolution. Others are Gombe, Jigawa, Kebbi, Kwara, Plateau, Sokoto and Taraba State Houses of Assembly.

“Aware that Sokoto state House of Assembly has forwarded its resolution; and convinced that with the approval of Sokoto State House of Assembly, the Constitution (Fifth Alteration) Bill No. 20 (Uniform Retirement Age for Judicial Officers), has met the provisions of Section 9(2) of the Constitution, for passage,” Mr Omo-Agege said.

The Deputy Chief Whip of the Senate, Aliyu Sabi Abdullahi (APC – Niger), supported the motion.

“This is one of the key elements of the Ninth Senate legislative agenda to reform the judiciary.

“Having a uniform retirement age for the Judiciary will remove the backlog of cases and ensure speedy dispensation of justice,” he said.

Senate President Ahmad Lawan expressed delight over the development.

“This is very important amendment to the Constitution and we are happy that it is going to be part of our legacy as the 9th National Assembly,” he said,

(NAN)

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