…Declares it illegal
The Supreme Court has declared Executive Order 10, (EO 10), which was issued by President Muhammadu Buhari on the funding of State’s Judiciary and Legislature, as unlawful and unconstitutional.
In a split decision, yesterday, 6 out of the seven-panel members who agreed that the President exceeded his constitutional powers in issuing the EO-10, voided and set it aside
The majority decision also held that it was not the responsibility of the FG to fund the capital and recurrent expenditures of the courts created for States under Section 6 of the 1999 Constitution. All the seven members agreed that the States were not entitled to be refunded all that they have spent before now to maintain those courts.
Recall that President Buhari signed into law Executive Order No 10, of 2020, cited as “the implementation of financial autonomy for State Legislature and Judiciary Order, 2020”.
A key provision of the said Executive Order seeks to enforce financial autonomy of the legislature and judiciary of the States. It gives power to the Accountant-General of the Federation (AGF) to deduct from the allocations due to a State from the Federation Account any sums appropriated for the Legislature or Judiciary of that State which fails to release to those arms of government as the case may be, and to pay the funds directly to the State’s Legislature or Judiciary concerned.
Recall also, that last year, the Supreme Court had reserved judgment in the suit filed by the 36 States governors, seeking an order to compel the Federal Government to fund capital projects in State’s High Courts, Shari’ah Court of Appeal and Customary Court of Appeal.
In the suit, the plaintiffs also sought to force the Federal Government to pay them N66billion expended on capital projects in the three courts. The plaintiffs argued that the three courts belong to the federation, noting that their capital projects should flow from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.