The All Progressives Congress, APC state Assembly Forum (ASAF) has called on governors and the National Assembly to support and expedite constitutional amendment that would give autonomy to the state judiciary and legislative arms of government.
The group made the call in a press statement by its Director-General, Mr Fubara Dagogo, in reaction to the Supreme Court judgement on the Executive Order 10 signed by the President in 2020.
The Supreme Court nullified Executive Order 10, which grants financial autonomy to the legislature and the judiciary in the 36 states of the country.
The order mandates the accountant-general of the federation to deduct from the source the amount due to state legislatures and judiciaries from the monthly allocation to each state for states that refuse to grant such autonomy.
In its ruling, the seven-member panel of Supreme Court judges, in a split-decision of six justices to one, held that the constitution provides a “clear delineation between the state and federal government.
However, the ASAF, while stressing the need for the independence of the state and judiciary arms of government, added that it would foster development.
“This judgment notwithstanding the principle and acute need for autonomy and independence of the legislative and judicial arms of government at the state level remains paramount in the polity, primarily because of the expected beneficial effects it will bring to bear on the governance structure of the country.
It leads to visible dividends of democracy for the Nigerian people.
“ASAF being a body of state legislators on the APC platform, is now more than ever interested in seeing the actualisation of the philosophy for which the Order 10 seek to achieve.
Over the years, the apparent emasculation of the state assemblies by the state executive arms of governments has reduced the state assemblies to the level of structural underperformance for an arm of government that is otherwise a potent tool for speedy development progressive governance.
Needless to emphasise that the near-zero capacity for oversight power on the executive arm by the state legislatures is antithetical to democratic practice as it negates the principle of separation of powers, a fundamental doctrine in every democracy.
“We call on the state governors to drop their opposition to this principle of constitutionally guaranteed separation of powers among the three arms of government and immediately initiate measures to see to its actualisation within the shortest time possible.
“Further to the above, we also urge the distinguished and honourable members of the National Assembly to expedite action on the ongoing constitutional review process and ensure that state legislature, judiciary and local government autonomy are expressly provided for, leaving no room for manipulation from many quarters now or in the future,” the statement read.
The group says it has fully mobilised by securing the required two-thirds votes of the 36 state assemblies to approve all people-oriented amendments to the constitution.
APC group calls for support of state judiciary, legislative autonomy