The President of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, on Friday, signed into law an Executive Order 10 to grant financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary at the state level thereby daring the state governors who had hitherto put them under their armpits.
The Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Abubakar Malami, SAN, who made the disclosure in a statement he made available to newsmen in Abuja, said the Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, made it mandatory that all States of the Federation should include the allocations of both the Legislature and the Judiciary in their Appropriation Laws:
However, a senior political aide to one of the state Governors in the North Central Geo- political zones said ” it is done in bad faith to spite the Governors and it will not stand the test of time as we know how to cross the bridge when we get there””
According to the AGF, a Presidential Implementation Committee was constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy for the State Legislature and State Judiciary in compliance with section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).
He said consideration was given to all other applicable laws, instruments, conventions and regulations that provided for financial autonomy at the State tier of Government.
Malami maintained that the implementation of financial autonomy of the State Legislature and State Judiciary would strengthen the institutions at the State tier of Government and make them more independent and accountable in line with the tenets of democracy as enshrined by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended).
“The President signed the Executive Order number 10 into law based on the power vested in him as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Section 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended), which extends to the execution and maintenance of the Constitution, laws made by the National Assembly (including but not limited to Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended), which guarantee financial autonomy of the State Legislature and State Judiciary”, the statement added.
It further revealed that the Order Provides that: “The Accountant-General of the Federation shall by this Order and such any other Orders, Regulations or Guidelines as may be issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, authorise the deduction from source in the course of Federation Accounts Allocation from the money allocated to any State of the Federation that fails to release allocation meant for the State Legislature and State Judiciary in line with the financial autonomy guaranteed by Section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended)”.
Article 6 (1) provides that: “Notwithstanding the provisions of this
Executive Order, in the first three years of its implementation, there shall be special extraordinary capital allocations for the Judiciary to undertake capital development of State Judiciary Complexes, High Court Complexes, Sharia Court of Appeal, Customary Court of Appeal and Court Complexes of other Courts befitting the status of a Court.
Meanwhile a very senior political aide to one of the state governors in North Central of Nigeria who pleaded anonymity said “this is done in bad light because the government want to Control the states at all cost… We have not settled the durst that is doing with the Local Government and they are coming again with this”
Continuing he said i”t will be a total failure because state governors know how to bye pass all these their partisan executive orders that they are dishing out “
The DAILY VENDOR is aware that a particular governor in one of the Northern States who in his first tenure boasted of financial autonomy for the Local Government and even said it would be giving the LGs even more funds have since jettison all these promises. The local Government receives the fund quite alright from the federation Account only to take what they will use in paying salaries and overhead cost and then take the test in cash to the governor.