Buhari Grants Financial Autonomy to State Legislature, Judiciary

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By Adedapo Adesanya

President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed into law the Executive Order Number 10 of 2020 for the implementation of financial autonomy of state legislature and state judiciary.

This was disclosed by Mr Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant to the Mr Abubakar Malami, the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice on Media and Public Relations in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

The President signed the Executive Order based on the powers 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).

This extends to the execution and maintenance of 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.

He noted that 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.

This is in compliance with section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended).

“The amendment took into consideration all other applicable laws, instruments, conventions and regulations, which provide for financial autonomy at the State tier of Government,” the statement said.

According to him, “the implementation of financial autonomy of the State Legislature and State Judiciary will strengthen the institutions at that tier of Government and make them more independent and accountable”.

This would be in line with the tenets of democracy as enshrined in the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended).

“The Order Provides that, `the Accountant-General of the Federation shall by this Order and any such 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)”.

“Based on the Executive Order at the commencement of this Order for implementation of financial autonomy for State Legislature and State Judiciary in line with section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended), all States of the Federation shall include the allocations of the two Arms of Government in their Appropriation Laws.

“Article 6 (1) also 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 Courts,’” the statement concluded.

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