Judiciary, Legislative Financial Autonomy: Presidential Committee Warn Governors On Strict Compliance

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The Presidential Committee on Implementation of Financial Autonomy for Judiciary and Legislature has urged governors to comply with the Executive Order 10.

 

The said Executive Order 10 would enable effective implementation of the financial autonomy of states Legislature and Judiciary as proposed by Mr President.

According to the committee secretary, Sen. Ita Enang while speaking with newsmen today in Abuja, he said, the said Executive Order 10 signed by President Buhari for the Implementation of Autonomy of the two arms of government, the state Legislature and the Judiciary.

Executive Order 10 has expressly granted financial autonomy to the 36 states House of Assembly and its Judiciary.

The Executive Order 10 of 2020 has mandated all states and Federation to include the allocation of both the Legislatures and the Judiciary in the first line charge of their budget.

He said financial autonomy would guarantee development and promote financial accountability at all state level.

Sen Enang who is also a Special Assistant to the President on the Niger Delta Affairs disclosed that the greatest challenge of Nigerian Democracy today was wastage at the state level and therefore there is need to address this.

He added the Executive Order 10 would also guarantee transparency at all level in the state.

All the three arms of government would prepare their budget together, and that will give them the knowledge of what the others have and this is one of the features of the Order, Enang explained.

In his statement, “In the budgeting process, they will know how much each of the arms of government will use in settling salaries and allowances of the legislators, paying their aids, legislative staff, and office maintenance, among others.

“The governors will no longer be responsible for their expenses; it will also make the house of assembly responsive.

“So; what the president is doing is to ensure that each state house of assembly is independent not to attack the governors but to check the executive and make government more responsible and responsive to the yearnings of the people, and development will be faster.

He continued, “The governors will know that the judiciary is independent and same with the legislature, these arms of the government need not get approval from the governors to execute their respective duties,” he added.

Enang further explained that the provision stipulates that governors upon receipt of money due to any arm of government in the consolidated revenue fund of the state from the federation account and internally generated revenues should with immediate effect remit same to the concerned arms.

“But where any governor fails to remit the money due to the arms, the Accountant General of the Federation (AGF) will deduct that amount standing to the credit of that state in the federation account and remit directly to arms concerned.

“It is important to emphasise that this deduction is not the first line action, but it is only applicable when one arm of the government is oppressed.

“We are confident that none of the 36 states will in any manner deprive their state legislature or judiciary of the fund that is due to them.

“The implementation committee will be very conciliatory and respectful of the powers of each arm of government at the states level and the powers and privileges of the governors,” Enang said.

He, therefore, enjoined all arms of the state to strictly follow the rules as it has been at the Federal Level to ensure Transparency.

“The state Assembly should follow the process that goes on at the National Assembly, be an independent and interdependent and consultative to the executive as applicable at the National Assembly to have the best Democracy.

Section 121(3) of the 1999 constitution as amended states that ‘any amount standing to the credit of the Judiciary in the consolidated revenue fund of the state shall be paid directly to the heads of the courts concerned.”

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