Senate urged to amend constitution to enhance judicial system
By Salihu Ali, Abuja
Justice Amina Augie has called on the Senate to ensure that it amends the 1999 Constitution to enhance the justice system in Nigeria.
The outgone Supreme Court Justice, Amina Augie made the call at a valedictory session held in her honour at the country’s Apex court complex in Abuja, to mark her exit from service after having attained the retirement age of 70.
At a valedictory session, the retired justice shared her views saying that the magnitude of workload at the apex court is further compounded with appeals that do not align with its role as a policy-making court.
Justice Augie said many appeals in the dockets of the Supreme Court made the work not only tedious and vexatious but highly demanding.
“Something must change. This court is the Apex court and its final decisions shape society’s social order.”
Justice Augie who urged justices to focus on what truly matters said, “they could issue directives for formulating specific policies or amend existing ones to better serve their intended purposes.”
Justice Augie advised the 10th National Assembly to amend the constitution to restrict the circumstances under which appeals can reach the supreme court.
“I implore the National Assembly to undertake the necessary constitutional amendment. By doing so, this court and its justices can be freed from the constrains that impede their ability to fulfill their mandate of upholding the rule of law, justice and Democracy.”
The Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola while bidding retired justice Augie farewell, described her as an affable jurist who diligently and meticulously offered unquantifiable services to Nigeria and humanity in different capacities for many decades.
Justice Ariwoola said the amiable disposition and reticent outlook of Justice Augie, literally made her a “gentle tigress in the temple of justice”.
According to the CJN, Justice Augie made herself a pliable legal personality that diligently sunk a pool of enduring legal knowledge and experience in all her judicial pronouncements.
“She has variously exhibited rare qualities and tenacity of strength and character to the admiration of her colleagues and admirers, especially when it comes to the administration of justice.
“She has been a formidable ally, an admirable pillar of support and indeed, a jolly good fellow to all of us”. Justice Ariwoola stated.
Also speaking, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Lateef Fagbemi SAN, poured encomiums on the retired judicial officer for her sound judgments which greatly enriched the country’s jurisprudence.
Similarly, the President of Nigeria Bar Association, Yakubu Maikyau SAN, gave eloquent testimonies of the contributions of the retired jurist, describing her as a “rare gem” who largely succeeded in imprinting her name in gold in the annal of administration and adjudication of Justice in Nigeria.
Justice Amina Augie, officially retired from the Supreme Court Bench on September 3, 2023.
The Apex court is now left with eleven justices