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36 govs sue FG, demand funding of states’ courts

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Supreme Court, Imo
Supreme Court

By Onozure Dania

The 36 state governors, through their respective Attorneys General and Commissioners for Justice, have dragged the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, AGF,  Mr Abubakar Malami, SAN, before the Supreme Court over the failure of the Federal Government to fund the courts in the country with recurrent expenditure since May 5, 2009.

It will be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari, had in May 2020, signed Executive Order 10, which gave financial autonomy to the legislature and judiciary at the state level.

The state governors argued that the Federal Government should also fund state courts if the president must make such order.

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The plaintiffs in the suit against the AGF, through their counsel, Mr Augustine Alegeh, SAN, are contending  that the respondent refused to fund the courts with capital and recurrent expenditure since May 5, 2009, but only paid the judicial workers’ salaries.

The plaintiffs, who alleged that the Executive Order 10 contains provisions which are inconsistent with some provisions of the 1999 Constitution, want the apex court to declare the order null and void.

In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs are also contending that the respondent refused to fund the High Courts, Sharia Courts of Appeal, Customary Courts of Appeal of the plaintiffs’ state, apart from paying only the salaries of the judicial officers, was contrary to the provisions of the constitution.

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