S' Court Judge Designate Demands 80-Year Retirement Age For Judges

Source: EMMA UCHE - thewillnigeria.com
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ABUJA, July 23, (THEWILL) - Justice Suleiman Galadima, a nominee for the Supreme Court Bench today suggested that retirement age for judges of both the Supreme and Appeal Courts should be pegged at 80 while those at the High Court should be 70 years.

He told the Senate Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters, during the screening of the two nominees, that it would be appropriate to review the retirement age for judges, which is currently pegged at 70 years.

The jurist also blamed lawyers for the incessant delays of elections matters.

Justice Galadima and Justices Bode Rhodes-Vivor, both nominees for the Supreme Court faced Senators and responded to questions on their views, expectations and other matters concerning the apex court.

Answering questions from members of the committee during the exercise, Justice Rhodes-Vivor blamed lawyers for delays in election petitions, and called for a return to the former days when elections were decided before the swearing-in of the elected candidates.

He said lawyers were fond of presenting so many witnesses for an issue in an election matter, creating unnecessary delays.

Vivor noted that the main issue for determination in any election case was to determine whether there was a substantial compliance with the provisions of the law in the conduct of the election.

He argued that it was not possible to obtain an absolute compliance, adding that judges should stick to that rule and dispense with election cases.

He however observed that lawyers were abusing the Supreme Court ruling that all the witnesses should be given fair hearing in any case, creating the problem of prolonged election disputes in courts.

On corruption, Rhodes-Vivor noted that he supported the establishment of corruption courts to tackle the problem and ensure that the cases were heard with dispatch.

On the controversies surrounding the conferment of the Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), he suggested that clear-cut guidelines should be in place to guide the process and determine those who were eligible for the title.

Justice Galadima on his part, said judges at the Supreme Court should retire at 80 years, while recommending 70 years at the High Court.

He argued that since at 70 the aged are always sober and reflective of their final end, they should not be removed from the system at that age.

He said corruption was not peculiar to the judiciary, but noted that corrupt judges were being purged from the system.

He added that, "When a judge takes money, it will show in his judgment because every judgment has a precedent and it is easy to know."

The committee is to make recommendation to the Senate for approval before the nominees can take their seat at the apex court.