BREAKING: Nigerian States’ Legislature, Judiciary now independent as Buhari signs Financial Autonomy Order

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President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday signed into law Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 for the implementation of Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary Order, 2020.

Umar Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media to Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami, made this known in a statement.

The development means that Nigerian States’ Legislature and Judiciary Arms no longer have to wait for Governors for funds.

Gwandu recalled 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 in compliance with section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended); taking into considerations all other applicable laws, instruments, conventions and regulations, which provides for financial autonomy at the state tier of government.

Gwandu said the implementation of financial autonomy of the State Legislature and State Judiciary will strengthen the institutions at the State tier of Government.

He noted that it will also make them more independent and accountable in line with the tenets of democracy as enshrined by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended).

The statement added that President Buhari signed the Executive Order number 10 into law based on the power 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), which extends to the execution and maintenance of the Constitution, 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.

According to the order: “The Accountant-General of the Federation shall by this Order and such any 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)”.

Gwandu further stated that based on the new Executive Order and 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) 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 a Courts.

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