The Supreme Court has declared as unlawful and unconstitutional the Executive Order 10 (EO10) issued by President Muhammadu Buhari which granted financial autonomy to other arms of government at the state level.
The institutions are the state judiciary and legislature which by the constitutions enjoy independence in all ramifications.
The EC10 was necessitated by the complaint and pressure mounted by workers of these arms of government to compel the various state governments to free their funds which makes them enjoys autonomy.
The funds accruing to the judiciary and legislatures were being managed by the states thus throwing up the institutions as appendages of the state governments.
But the Supreme Court on Friday declared as unlawful and unconstitutional the Executive Order 10 (EO10) on the funding of State Judiciary and Legislature and local governments.
In a split decision, the majority of the court’s seven-member panel agreed that the President exceeded his constitutional powers in issuing the EO10.
The judgment was on the suit filed by the 36 states against the Federal Government on the funding of the judiciary and the constitutionality of the EO10.
Six out of the seven members of the panel proceeded to void and set aside the EO10.
The majority decision also held that it was not the responsibility of the Federal Government to fund the capital and recurrent expenditures of the courts created for States under Section six of the Constitution.
All the seven members agreed that the States were not entitled to be refunded all they have spent before now to maintain those courts.
President Buhari signed into law, Executive Order No 10 of 2020, as “the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary Order, 2020.”
A key provision of the said Executive Order seeks to enforce the financial autonomy of the legislature and judiciary of the states.
It gives power to the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from the allocations due to a state from the Federation Account, any sums appropriated for the legislature or judiciary of that state which the state fails to release to its legislature or judiciary as the case may be and to pay the funds directly to the state’s legislature or judiciary concerned.