Members of the Nigerian Bar Association, (NBA) in Abia State have asked the State Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu, to implement judicial financial autonomy because it was a democratic imperative.
The members of the NBA, under the aegis of the forum of the state chapter NBA chairmen, stated this when they paid the governor of the state a visit in Government House, Umuahia, to discuss issues bordering around judicial financial autonomy.
Chairman of the Forum, Samuel Nwosu, said implementing judicial financial autonomy was not only democratically imperative but was a constitutional provision.
He said their visit was to draw the governor’s attention to the non-implementation of financial autonomy of the judiciary across the 36 states of the country, which he said, has led to the ongoing nationwide strike.
Nwosu regretted that the non-implementation of the financial autonomy, has adversely affected the activities of the judiciary, as a tier of government.
He intimated the governor that the National Leadership of the NBA, has chosen to stand with the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) on the issue, as it is both “a constitutional provision and a democratic imperative”.
Nwosu, however, requested the governor to set in motion the process of implementing financial autonomy for the Judiciary in the state, noting that it would be historic, since previous administrations in the state could not do it.
In his response, the governor stated that his administration would not hesitate in supporting the quest for financial autonomy for the judiciary.
The Abia governor further disabused the minds of Nigerians who think that governors were frustrating the move for financial independence of the judiciary, stating that they have no business trying to run the judiciary for those who are supposed to run it.
He promised to direct the relevant authorities to work out modalities for the implementation of financial autonomy for the state judiciary, and used the opportunity to commend the forum for going about their agitation peacefully.
Governor Ikpeazu, however, advised the delegation to be realistic in their expectations because budgets are statements of financial aspiration, adding that the current situation in Nigeria brings a lot of uncertainty in financial issues, especially as it relates to government income.