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Judiciary Funding: Osinbajo Asks States To Implement Firstline Charge



Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo has asked state governments yet to implement Firstline Charge for Judiciary to do so for the improvement of the judiciary.

He made the call at the Nigeria Law School Class ‘85’ Reunion Award Ceremony held in Abuja yesterday.

It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had on June 8, assented to the Constitution Fourth Alteration Bill, which granted financial autonomy to the State Houses of Assembly and the States’ Judiciary.

“With the signing into law of the Bill, the State Houses of Assembly would now operate like the National Assembly where Federal Ministry of Finance automatically transferred budgetary allocation direct to the account of the Assembly,” Osinbajo said.

Osinbajo,  who was represented by the Attorney -General of the Federation Justice Abubakar Malami said granting financial autonomy to the judiciary at state levels would bring about great improvement in the judiciary.

“I pray the Nigeria Bar Association (NBA) takes more Interest in the implementation process. As at date, I’m informed that only few states have taken steps to implement this Constitutional imperative to guarantee financial independence for the judiciary.

“Hence, the Bar, as well as the state legislature as public advocates and representatives need to monitor and guide compliance in the interest of the legal profession and public good.

“As federal government, we are also considering some submissions as to the best way of ensuring implementation without infringing on the constitutional autonomy of states,” he said.

In his remarks, chairman Local Organising Committee of the event, Sen. Ita Enang, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate) called on the group “as seasoned members of the law profession to constructively appraise actions of government.”

Earlier,  chairman of Class ‘85’ Nigeria Law School, Emeka Ngige (SAN) said that the provision in the Constitution   which made provision for financial autonomy must be adhered to.

“The bar association had always clamoured that provisions in the Constitution should be implemented.  The Judiciary should be able to have their allocations direct from the allocation to the state and spend it as other arms of government. So I support that law,” Ngige said.

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