- NGF has set May 2021 for the implementation of financial autonomy for the judiciary
- The NGF's chairman, Kayode Fayemi made this known on Monday, April 19
- Fayemi said the forum never had any objection to financial autonomy for the state assemblies
The Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has finally agreed to implement autonomy for state legislative and judiciary, with effect from May 2021.
Legit.ng gathered that Fayemi said the decision was reached in a meeting attended by federal lawmakers, representatives of the judiciary and legislative staff, and the chief of staff to the president, Ibrahim Gambari.
Channels TV also reports that he insisted the governors never objected to full autonomy for the state assemblies and judiciary, adding that “the issue is about implementation.”
“There has been no objection from governors on judicial and legislative autonomies. As a matter of fact, it would not have passed if governors were not in support in the first instance, in the state assemblies."
Prominent lawyer reacts
The chairman of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch, Bartholomew Aguebodo, has said that financial autonomy would allow judges to have a say in their own affairs.
Aguebodo explained that the principles of separation of powers will be cut short if the implementation of financial autonomy is denied.
Aguebodo further explained that the judiciary doesn’t have to send its budget to the Executive for approval even as its account will be created from the Federation Account with financial autonomy.
“We are saying let judges have a say in their own affairs so that judges will be dispensed without fear or favour. The Issue of financial autonomy of the Judiciary is essential for the dispensation of justice.
“So, the earlier the governors attend to the demands of the JUSUN and grant the financial autonomy, the better for everybody concerned. We are talking about a case where the judiciary will not have to send their budget to the executive for approval.
“We are talking about a situation where judiciary account will create directly from the federation account. The ideal thing should be that the Judiciary brings their own budget and manages their budget which is a norm for the separation of powers."
Meanwhile, Legit.ng had previously reported that Nigerian lawyers stormed the National Assembly to protest in solidarity with judiciary workers who are demanding financial autonomy.
It was reported that their leadership has directed them to visit all government houses in the 36 states of the country over the issue.
The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN), in a bid to press home their demands, commenced a nationwide strike on April 6.
In a related report, after months of speculations about his 2023 presidential ambition, the chairman of the NGF, Kayode Fayemi, said that he would cross the bridge when he gets there.
The governor said no serious politician would ignore the opportunity of becoming the president of Nigeria.
The governor, who played a vital role in the dissolution of the National Working Committee of the All Progressives Congress (APC), however, refused to state categorically if he would be contesting for the presidency in 2023.