Senior Partner, HURILAWS, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN

The Human Rights Law Service HURILAWS, has thrown its weight behind President Muhammadu Buhari over his recent signing of Executive Order No. 10 of 2020, which seeks to enforce financial autonomy for the Legislative and Judicial arms of the 36 states of the Federation.

In a statement signed by the Senior Legal/Programmes Officer, of the HURILAWS, Collins Okeke, the chambers noted that though it has doubts that an executive order is the ideal instrument for implementing financial autonomy at states, it appreciates the efforts of President Buhari to enforce the Judgment of the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/ABJ/CS/63/2013 Olisa Agbakoba vs FG, The NJC & National Assembly.

It was gathered that in the above matter, Dr. Olisa Agbakoba SAN sued the Federal Government & 2 Ors on the interpretation of sections 81(2) and section 84(1), (2), (3), (4) and (7) of the 1999 Constitution.

In the suit, he, amongst other reliefs, challenged the National Judicial Council’s practice of sending its budget to the Budget Office of the Executive arm for appropriation, arguing that it was an infringement on the financial autonomy of the Judiciary.

The Court, in its judgment delivered in 2014, agreed with him and ordered the National Judicial Council to henceforth send its budget directly to the National Assembly for appropriation.

Investigations however showed that since the Judgment, no serious effort was made by the Federal Government or States to enforce the Judgment, which had allowed the misnomer to continue.

The Human Right Law group therefore, commend the effort of the President, insisting that this singular move will hopefully begin the journey towards the strengthening the Judicial arm of the government.