President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammadu Buhari

President Buhari Signs Executive Order on Financial Autonomy of State Legislature, Judiciary

President Muhammadu Buhari of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, has on Friday signed into law Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 for the implementation of Financial Autonomy of State Legislature and State Judiciary Order, 2020.

This is contained in a statement issued by Dr Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday 22nd May, 2020.

The statement noted that a Presidential Implementation Committee was constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy for the State Legislature and State Judiciary in compliance with section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (as Amended); taking into considerations all other applicable laws, instruments, conventions and regulations, which provides for financial autonomy at the State tier of Government.

According to the statement the implementation of financial autonomy of the State Legislature and State Judiciary will strengthen the institutions at the State tier of Government and make them more independent and accountable in line with the tenets of democracy as enshrined by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended).

The President signed the Executive Order number 10 into law based on the power vested in him as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria under Section 5 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended), which extends to the execution and maintenance of the Constitution, laws made by the National Assembly (including but not limited to Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as Amended), which guarantee financial autonomy of the State Legislature and State Judiciary.

The Order Provides that “The Accountant-General of the Federation shall by this Order and such any other Orders, Regulations or Guidelines as may be issued by the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, authorise the deduction from source in the course of Federation Accounts Allocation from the money allocated to any State of the Federation that fails to release allocation meant for the State Legislature and State Judiciary in line with the financial autonomy guaranteed by Section 121(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended)”.

Based on the Executive Order at the commencement of this Order for implementation of financial autonomy for State Legislature and State Judiciary in line with section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as Amended), all States of the Federation shall include the allocations of the two Arms of Government in their Appropriation Laws.

Article 6 (1) provides that “notwithstanding the provisions of this Executive Order, in the first three years of its implementation, there shall be special extraordinary capital allocations for the Judiciary to undertake capital development of State Judiciary Complexes, High Court Complexes, Sharia Court of Appeal, Customary Court of Appeal and Court Complexes of other Courts befitting the status of a Courts.

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• IOC: “I have no Debt Collector” – Malami

The recovery agents engaged by the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice are institutional recovery agents and not agents of Malami as being portrayed by some media. Malami in his personal capacity does not have personal “debt collectors” for the recovery of federal government debts.

This clarification was contained in a statement issued by Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, which was made available to newsmen in Abuja on Friday 22nd day of May, 2020.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Office of the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice does not engage recovery agents based on projected personal gratification or individual’s inclinations.

Hence, all those engaged by the Federal Government for undertaking certain tasks in the recovery of assets and generation of revenues belonging to the government did not belong to “Malami” as mischievously portrayed by some certain media outlets but Federal Government of Nigeria through the instrumentality of the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice. Such engagements were purely based on the interest of the general public as a guiding principle.

The Minister reiterated his stance that engagement of recovery agents was neither propelled by any ulterior motive nor about gratification of any personal desire through any percentage to be given to or by the recovery agent, but of an unflinching patriotic commitment to get back
to the country the revenue it deserves.

It is the same Federal Government that engaged the Trobell in the recovery of the unpaid Federal Government revenue that asked the agency to step down based on the stakeholders meeting held.

Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu
(Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice)