Fomer Chief Judge of Anambra State Prof. Peter Nnanna C. Umeadi and a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Louis Alozie have praised President Muhammadu Buhari for signing Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 which grants financial autonomy to states legislature.
In a tweet on his Twitter handle Prof. Umeadi, now a chieftain of All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) said: “With humility, I congratulate Mr President on the bold, irreversible step to entrenching the rule of law.
“The offshoot should be obedience to decisions of courts of competent jurisdiction, whether favourable or not, and seeking appropriate redress according to law” Umeadi stated.
To Alozie, the Executive Order no 10 of 2020 will engender independence of the judiciary and the houses of assembly.
Alozie described the order as a welcome development.
“As it relates to the judiciary, Section 162(9) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended provides for financial autonomy of the judiciary by stating that any amount standing to the credit of the judiciary in the federation account shall be paid directly to the national judicial council for disbursement to the heads of court established for the federation and the states under section 6 of the constitution.
He lamented: “Unfortunately, this provision of the constitution has been flouted since the return of democracy in Nigeria.
Every month, the accountants general of the state go to Abuja and collect all the monies due to both the executive, the legislature and the judiciary which they disburse as it pleases them.
The judiciary and the legislature at the state levels have been starved of funds thereby hampering their operations.”
He recalled that in the recent past, foremost human rights activist, Olisa Agbakoba SAN obtained a judgment commanding the enforcement of judicial autonomy of the judiciary but unfortunately that judgment was ignored.
“Now that the President has issued the executive order, there is no doubt that it will be complied with, so it is a welcome development even though in a democratic setting such executive order would not have been necessary in order to obey the constitution.
But because Nigerian leaders like being ordered or coerced into doing the right thing, the executive order issued by the President is a welcome development.
“Lack of financial autonomy has rendered both the legislature and judiciary to mere stooges in the hands of the governors.
Our governors are completely lawless and have adamantly refused to obey the provisions of the constitution they swore to uphold.
That accounts for some senseless laws by the state Houses of Assembly and also some odd judgments by our courts”, he added.