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Reps seek N10m for FCT Magistrate Courts

By on May 31, 2013

The House of Representatives has called for an  increase in the monetary jurisdiction of magistrate courts in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to a minimum of N10 million against N250,000.

The resolution was reached after the adoption of the motion sponsored by Toby Okechukwu during Thursday plenary session.

Section 17 of the District Courts of Law empowers the FCT Minister, upon the recommendation of the Chief Judge of the Federal Capital Territory, to increase the jurisdiction exercised by District Judges in the FCT.

Some of the lawmakers who spoke in favour of the motion include Chairman of the Committee on Justice, Ali Ahmad; Minority Whip of the House, Samson Osagie and Chairman of the Committee on Rules and Business, Albert Sam-Tsokwa.

In his lead debate, Okechukwu explained that the proposal when adopted would enhance the dispensation of justice, and that current monetary jurisdiction of N250,000 introduced since 1997 upon the recommendation of the then Chief Judge of the FCT was no longer in tandem with present day realities.

He said “the current monetary jurisdiction exercised by the District Courts no longer reflects the rental realities in the nation’s capital, hence the need for increase in jurisdiction of the courts.

“This increase in jurisdiction of the District Courts will decongest the cause list of High Courts of the Federal Capital Territory and encourage senior lawyers to patronize the District Courts since the Courts would have been statutorily empowers to handle more cases.”