Published On: Wed, Jun 26th, 2019

Buhari justifies autonomy for state legislature, judiciary

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By Lawrence Olaoye

President Muhammadu Buhari has said efforts to ensure autonomy for state legislatures and judiciary will further strengthen democracy and deepen inclusiveness of citizens by guaranteeing fairness for ordinary Nigerians.
According to a statement made available to newsmen yesterday by his spokesman, Femi Adesina, the President gave the opinion while receiving the Report of the Presidential Implementation Committee on Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and Judiciary, chaired by the immediate past Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.
The President said the government will study the report and recommendations and take an appropriate decision.
“I went through a terrible time getting here for the three times I contested elections. That’s why I want to stabilise the system so that others will not pass through the same experience.
“Both young and ordinary Nigerians depend on leadership to ensure justice is always done. So we must ensure that trust is not compromised. This administration will take the report seriously,’’ he added.
In his remarks Malami said implementation of the recommendations will entrench constitutionalism, democratic principles and separation of powers.
“The recommendations clearly spell out that if uniform modules for implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and state judiciary are approved for implementation across 36 states, it will no doubt strengthen Nigeria’s democratic principles, practices and public governance,’’ he said.
The ex-minister added that the committee had observed that most states honoured the constitutional provisions for financial autonomy in the breach, than in observance, noting that the legislature and judiciary remain the last hope of the common man and should be given autonomy.
He said the committee consulted with state governors, Chief Judges of states, Speakers of State Houses of Assembly, Civil Society Organizations and relevant stakeholders, including members of the public.
Asked how soon the recommendations would be implemented, the former AGF said, “Well, the independence has already been established by the Constitution so, it is now about the implementation of the modalities and amongst the recommendations made to Mr. President is an Executive Order by the President designed to give effect to the implementation of section 121 which Constitutionally establishes the independence of the two arms of government.
“So, it is about the application, Operation and enforcement of the provisions of the Constitution and with the signing of the Executive Order, l believe the necessary formalities of the whole hearted implementation of this provisions will come into effect.”
The Presidential Implementation Committee on Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary was inaugurated by President Buhari on March 22nd, 2019, to fashion out strategies and modalities for implementation of the financial autonomy of the state legislature and state judiciary in compliance with Section 121 (3) of the 1999 constitution (As Amended).

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