By Ihechinyere Chigemeri-Uwom
Umuahia, April 20, 2021 (NAN) The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Abia Chapter’s Forum, has called on the Abia government, to expedite action in implementing the financial autonomy of the state judiciary.
Mr Samuel Nwosu, the leader of the Forum, made this known on Tuesday, when members of the association paid Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia, a courtesy visit at the Government House, Umuahia.
Nwosu, who is also the Chairman of NBA Ukwa branch, described the demands of the Judiciary Staff of Nigeria (JUSON) for financial autonomy as fundamental to the nation’s democratic aspirations.
He said that “an indisputable element of the independence of the judiciary, is the financial autonomy that it enjoys in the discharge of its constitutional functions and responsibilities.
“It is in recognition of this global best practice that the framers of our constitution enacted the provisions of sections 81(iii) and 121(iii) of the constitution.
“Mainly to guarantee financial autonomy of the federal and state judiciaries, “he said.
Nwosu said that true federalism could be adequately encouraged in the nation, through active implementation of the doctrine of the separation of powers.
He noted that the demand of JUSON was in the interest of the judiciary and the society, as it is one of the key parameters for enthroning independence of judiciary and democracy.
Nwosu said that it was unfortunate that the law had been observed in breach by successive administrations in the state.
“President Muhammadu Buhari in May 2020, issued the executive order No10 mandating the Accountant-General of the federation to commence the deduction from source, the funds accruing the state judiciary in the consolidated revenue funds to the states.
“And transfer same to heads of courts, in line with the dictates of the constitution,” he said.
Nwosu appealed to the state government to implement the provisions of the constitution that guarantees financial autonomy of the judiciary for the interest of democracy.
Responding, Ikpeazu said that the state government under his watch, would do the needful in terms of supporting the quest for financial autonomy of the judiciary.
He said: “Sincerely speaking I think at the end of the day, I would have so much burden lifted off my shoulders if that begins to happen.
“But you must realise that budget is an expression of intention and the crafters of our constitution imagined a stable economy and financial expectation, at every month and year,“ Ikpeazu said.
The governor urged the judiciary to evolve fair and equitable modalities for effective application of the privileges that come with financial autonomy in the operations, and resources of the judiciary.
He said this would go a long way in ensuring that the aim for instituting financial autonomy for the judiciary would not be defeated.
Abia NBA backs financial autonomy for judiciary