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Reps set to empower NJC to sanction judges

By The Citizen
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A bill seeking to increase the power of the National Judicial Council’s (NJC) to suspend, punish, reinstate and discipline  judicial officers, yesterday, passed a second reading at the House of Representatives.

The bill also seeks for an Act to amend the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended).

The move is intended to remove the clause which seeks the approval of the President on the decisions of the NJC on suspension of judicial officers and other issues.

Leading the debate on the general principles of the bill, its sponsor, Rep. Karimi Sunday (PDP- Kogi), said that the bill, if passed, would empower the NJC on issues of discipline of judicial officers.

According to him, article 21 (b) stipulates that the NJC shall recommend its decisions to the President for approval.

The lawmaker argued that the decisions of the NJC should be final and it needed not to go through the President for approval.

” This is  an undue interference in the decision of the Council.  The NJC needs not to seek the approval of Mr President to discipline its officers.

“There is need to empower the NJC the more, so as to have the power to discipline judicial officers,” he said.

He urged his colleagues to support the proposed legislation to strengthen the  powers of the council.

Speaking in support of the bill, Rep. Ossai Ossai (PDP-Delta) said that the amendment sought was a “good one”.

He said that any grey area would be addressed at the committee level and during the public hearing of the bill.

The bill was not opposed and the Speaker, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal referred it to the Special Ad- hoc Committee on the review of the 1999 Constitution.

Similarly, a bill for an Act to amend Part 2 of the Companies Income Tax Act,1990 passed its second reading.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ayo Omidiran(APC- Osun), seeks to include the provision of tax relief for corporate organisations based on their contribution to philanthropic and  corporate social responsibility initiatives. - National Mirror.