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Comply With Judgment On Judicial Autonomy, Agbakoba Tells Govs

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Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Dr. Olisa Agbakoba (SAN), has urged governors to recognise the financial autonomy of the judiciary in order to save the country from imminent chaos.

He made this known on Sunday in a letter to the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) and Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi.

Agbakoba urged the governors to comply and enforce the judgment of a Federal High Court that recognised the financial autonomy of the judiciary in the interest of justice and the country.

He lamented that the strike embarked on the judicial workers could have been avoided if the state governments had complied with the court order, adding that the industrial action has brought stress on the judiciary.

Agbakoba said JUSUN is absolutely correct to pursue a policy of financial independence of the courts guaranteed by the constitution and affirmed by three decisions of superior courts of Nigeria.

He said: “A simple way out is for state governors to observe the rule of law and obey judgments of the court. Sections 81 (3) and 121 (3) of the Constitution of Nigeria grant financial autonomy to the federal and the state’s judiciaries.

“This has been confirmed by courts in the following cases:

“1. Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria Vs National Judiciary Council and Governors of the 36 states in Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/667/13
2. Olisa Agbakoba Vs FG, the NJC and National Assembly Suit No: FHC/ABJ/CS/63/2013 and
3. Olisa Agbakoba Vs AG, Ekiti State and two Others in Suit No: NAD/56/2013.

“President Buhari has affirmed the decisions of the courts by issuing Executive Order 10 of 2020, in the exercise of his powers under Section 5 of the Constitution to ensure execution and maintenance of the constitution which includes enforcement of decisions of the court.

“State governors should please enforce the decisions of the court and save the country this chaos.”