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Govs Frustrating Financial Autonomy For Judiciary – JUSUN

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State governors have refused to comply with relevant sections of the constitution which grants financial autonomy to the judiciary, even after after a court judgement, the Judiciary Staff Union (JUSUN) has said.

President of the Union, Comrade Mustapha Marwan who spoke with journalists in Abuja said the governors have frustrated financial autonomy for the judicial arm of government

He said this situation has left magistrate and customary courts across the country in a sorry state, with dilapidated court buildings not suitable for court sittings

“Our major obstacles are the governors, they are frustrating all efforts,” he said.

Marwan who painted a bleak picture of infrastructures at the state courts explained that bulk of court cases are at the magistrate, Customary and Sharia court level, complaining that failure of the governors to comply with sections of the constitution granting financial autonomy to the judiciary has frustrated quick dispensation of justice to poor Nigerians.

He said in some cases, magistrate or customary or Sharia court judges have to take public buses or motorcycles to get to court premises.

“Sometimes, the judge can meet with the litigants in the same bus. You can imagine such situation,” u said.

He said, “Today, almost 80% of state courts are in sorry state with exception of perhaps, three states. If you go to judiciary headquarters of most of the states you won’t like it, not to talk of other lower courts. Some are in rented shops and houses; so dilapidated, you can’t imagine such place as a court. How can you get justice where a court that will preside over a case is a house of somebody, probably the accused? Unless if we are mocking ourselves’’.

 

“The bulk of the cases daily that has to do with the common man are in the customary courts, magistrate court and Sharia court. In a day, a magistrate court can entertain 25 cases, a day a customary court judge can entertain 10 to 12. A Sharia court judge can entertain 13 to 14 cases. While mostly in high courts and the other big courts they entertain 2 or 3 and the rest is adjournment. These are some of the issues we have been fighting on financial autonomy.”

 

Explaining further, he said, “No governor is complying with the provision of section 121.3, nobody is complying with section 81.3, 81.9, nobody is complying with section 162.9. All those provisions of the constitution deal with the issue of financial autonomy of judiciary.”

 

Marwan said JUSUN has been in the forefront of fighting for reforms in the judiciary and has spent over eight years battling granting of financial autonomy for the judiciary.

 

He said despite securing a court judgment two years ago, governors are not complying with the financial autonomy for the judiciary

 

He said, “Judgment has been passed in favour of judiciary, no single governor has appealed to that judgement and no single governor is complying with that provision of the constitution and the court judgment.

 

He said there is an Executive Order before President Muhammadu Buhari, which once becomes effective will ensure that the Accountant General of the Federation will deduct from source and pay directly to the head of court, in any case that a state governor refuses to comply.

 

He expressed optimism that the President will soon sign the Order

 

 

 

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