President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law an Executive Order granting financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary across the 36 states of the federation.
The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations, Umar Gwandu, on Friday said that the Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, mandates all states of the federation to include the allocations of both the legislature and the judiciary in their budgets.
The AGF stated:
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).
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.
Mr Malami further stated:
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 Courts.