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The Nigerian Senate today passed the Federal High Court Amendment Bill and Franchising Establishment Bill. This was after it considered the reports of the Committee on Judiciary, Human Rights and Legal Matters on the Federal High Court Act, Cap F12 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (SB. 745) and the Franchising (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (SB. 969.) The Chairman of the Committee, Distinguished Opeyemi Micheal Bamidele(Ekiti Central) presented the reports during plenary today. 

The Federal High Court Act, Cap F12 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (SB. 745) was sponsored by Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru, FCA and the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo Agege while the the Franchising (Establishment) Bill, 2023 (SB. 969) was sponsored by Senator Mukhail Adetokunbo Abiru, FCA. 

The Federal High Court Act, Cap F12 LFN 2004 (Amendment) Bill, 2023 (SB. 745) seeks to amend the Federal High Court Act to address the shortcomings inherent in the Principal Act to make provisions for the regulation of the award of prejudgment interest to ensure the attainment of substantial justice, particularly in relation to claims bothering on commercial transactions and also to increase the number of judges in the Federal High Court. 

On the other hand, the Franchising Bill seeks to create a framework for the operation of franchising and to guide the relationship between franchisors and franchisees and for matters connected therewith in order to enhance the economic development of Nigeria. 

The objectives of the Bill are to among other things: (a) Regulate and guide the relationship between Franchisors and Franchisees by imposing certain obligations and prohibiting certain actions; (b) Promote the growth of franchising through the adoption of international best practices that balance the interests of franchisors and franchisee; (c) Enhance the capacity of the National Office of Technology Acquisition and Promotion for effective regulation, administration, and enforcement of the provisions of Franchising in this Bill. 

The Senate unanimously passed the bills. The passage of both bills today, amendment of the Federal High Court Act has come into force, making provisions for the regulation of the award of prejudgment interest to ensure the attainment of substantial justice, particularly in relation to claims bothering on commercial transactions and to increase the number of justices of the Federal High Court particularly with their increased jurisdiction in respect of electoral matters. 

Likewise, the operation of franchising has been strengthened and the relationship between franchisors and franchisees will be properly regulated through the provision of the legal and legislative framework contained therein. 

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