The Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for freeing state judiciaries from the financial grip of governors.
The President, last week, signed an executive order, mandating direct payment of funds accruable to state legislative houses and judiciaries.
Governors are reportedly contemplating a judicial challenge of the executive pronouncement.
In a statement on Monday, Kunle Edun, national publicity secretary of the lawyers’ body, said the presidential move was a life-saver for state judicial divisions.
According to him, “NBA commended the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari for signing Executive Order No. 10 which makes it mandatory for all funds accruing and due to the Judiciaries and the Legislatures of the States to be paid directly to their various heads.
“For long the State judiciaries have been under the domineering and strangulating influence of the various State Governors, thus making the Chief Judges of the various States to always be going cap in hand begging State Governors for release of funds due to the Judiciary, which ultimately affect the independence of the judiciary and make the Chief Judges want to be subservient to the State Governors. This sad situation led to the neglect of the State Judiciaries by the various State Governors except for States where the Governors are in good relationship with the State Judiciaries.
“Executive Order 10 will go a long way in asserting the constitutional independence of the State Judiciaries as a different arm of government, and ultimately give the Chief Judges of States the respect they deserve as the leaders of an arm of government in their States.
“The new independence should also impact positively in the appointment process in the judiciary and make it devoid of Executive interference in the appointment of Judicial officers.”