Supreme Court hears states’ appeal against Executive Order 10 today

The supreme court, on Friday, dismissed a suit filed by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), seeking the review of a judgment ordering it to pay N17 billion to some Ogoni communities in Rivers state.

The Supreme Court will today hear the originating summons by the governors of the 36 states challenging the Executive Order 10 on the financial autonomy of the judiciary and legislature, signed by President Muhammadu Buhari last year.

The 36 state governments had insisted that the president cannot direct the states on the financial autonomy of the judiciary and legislature.

They had argued that the Order violates the provisions of Sections 6 and 81(3) and Item 21(e) of the Third Schedule to the Nigerian Constitution 1999.

They had maintained that these provisions obligated the Federal Government with the “responsibility for funding all capital and recurrent expenditure of the High Courts, Sharia Courts of Appeal and Customary Courts of Appeal of the states of the Federation of Nigeria being courts created under Section 6 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”

The governors are being represented by a former president of the Nigerian Bar Association, Augustine Alegeh (SAN); while the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation is being represented by T.A. Gazali (SAN).

Senior Advocates of Nigeria, Olisa Agbakoba Musibau Adetunbi and Chief Sebastine T. Hon, will appear as friends of the court.

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