June 10, 2020

Granting autonomy to state legislature, judiciary, an infringement — Gusa

Restructuring Nigeria through substitution of 1999 with 1963 Constitution

Points to suspension of constitutional provision

By Peter Duru – Makurdi

The Benue State Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General, Mr. Mike Gusa has described Executive Order 10 recently signed by President Muhammadu Buhari granting financial autonomy to state Judicial and Legislatures as an infringement on the existence of democracy in the country.

President Buhari had two weeks ago signed the Order following the report of a presidential committee set up to draw up strategies for the implementation of financial autonomy for state legislatures and judiciary in accordance with the provisions section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution

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Speaking on the matter on Wednesday, in Makurdi, the Benue State Attorney General observed that the Order had far-reaching implications and would require an interpretation of the constitution on the issue.

He said “The Governors are going to take a decision on the issue but by and large you look at that act as a fundamental and constitutional issue that has to do with the provisions of the constitution.

“And so it is left for those that are concerned to seek the interpretation of the provisions of the constitution because it is an infringement on the existence of the democracy itself since we are practicing a democratic system where there is a clear cut separation of powers and you have the legislature, executive and the judiciary.

“Moreover, we all know that the legislature is empowered by the constitution to make laws for the entire country and the respective states.

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“And then when you see the Executive signing that kind of Executive Order that has far-reaching implications on the constitution itself, it means the provisions of the constitution have been suspended in away.

“It is perceived as such since the Executive has now by implication taken over the functions of the legislature in making laws.

“So I think that is subject to the interpretations of the constitution and I also think that until that is done, though I don’t want to preempt anything, but by and large and in my mind, I think that is the problem now.”