Nearly two months after their confirmation by the Senate, the inauguration of 11 newly appointed justices of the Supreme Court has been stalled, reportedly due to logistical challenges. The delay has sparked concerns over the Apex Court’s reduced capacity and ability to efficiently handle appeals from the previous year’s general elections.
Despite the swift nomination and confirmation process that culminated in the Senate’s approval on December 21, 2023, the anticipated boost to the Supreme Court’s operational capacity has been postponed.
Insights into the delay suggest logistical issues, including accommodation and the provision of vehicles and office spaces for the new justices, have contributed to the holdup. Additionally, some of the justices are required to conclude their pending cases at the Court of Appeal before assuming their new roles in an effort to avoid constitutional breaches and ensure a smooth transition.
According to sources within the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) and the Supreme Court, the delay in providing necessary resources, such as furnished apartments and vehicles for the justices, has hindered the inauguration process. While assurances have been made regarding the resolution of these issues by the end of the month, concerns linger over the impact of the delay on the functioning of Nigeria’s highest court.
Amidst these challenges, there is also mention of a petition against one of the justices, further complicating the situation. However, efforts are reportedly underway to address this matter and facilitate the long-awaited inauguration of the new justices.
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