The Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Tanko Muhammad asked the Senate for adequate funding to meet judicial functions.
NAN reports that Justice Muhammad made the appeal when the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters paid him a courtesy call on Friday.
The CJN said that the Supreme Court of Nigeria as one of the busiest apex court in the world needed more funding to perform optimally.
He explained that the whole amount allocated to the federal judiciary may not be even up to half of the amount allocated to one ministry.
We have the supreme court and the court of appeal and the court of appeal is having a lot of divisions including the federal high court and national industrial court.
So we need more funding as we also appoint supporting staff and we have justices and judges.
He further said that except there was adequate funding to carter for the judiciary, a lot would be missing.
The Supreme Court of Nigeria sits on a daily basis including Fridays like a Magistrate Court.
Mainly on Fridays, we deliver judgments and rulings throughout the year except when we find that we can conveniently go on vacation.
This year we did not even go on vacation this is because of the political cases which are time-bound.
We have never allowed any to lapse because we take it seriously.
We take it a responsibility and a duty that whatever amount of cases we have we will never allow anyone to lapse.
Believe me, many of us do not sleep for the recommended 12 hours by stress managers.
We dont write judgment merely by stating that so, so, so and so cases were filed by this and that, and end it up by saying the appeal is hereby dismissed or upheld.
We have to give reasons which is the bedrock of judgment writing. If Im to sleep for 12 hours a lot of cases will suffer, Muhammad said.
Muhammad also asked the committee to amend appellate jurisdiction of the Supreme Court as contained in the 1999 Constitution (as amended) so that not all appeals (cases) terminate in the apex court.
The CJN said that the number of appeals pending in the court and those received so far this year were mind-boggling.
One of our appeal is that we would like to if and wherever it is possible for the amendment to the Constitution. We will urge you please to take a look at the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, he said.
Author: Wale Odunsi