Courts’ Funding: 36 State Governors drag Buhari to Supreme Court

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Governors of the 36 States of the federation have dragged President Muhammadu Buhari to the Supreme Court over the Presidential Executive Order No. 00-10 of 2020 which he signed in May this year.

The governors lamented that the said Order signed on May 20, 2020, had pushed the Federal Government’s responsibility of funding both the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal, to the state governments.

The governors described the president’s action as grossly unconstitutional and should be reversed.

They filed the suit through their respective attorneys general, listing the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami (SAN) as the only respondent.

In the suit filed on their behalf by nine Senior Advocates of Nigeria, led by a former President of the Nigerian Bar Association, Mr Augustine Alegeh (SAN); and six other lawyers, the 36 states accused the federal government of abandoning the responsibility of funding the capital and recurrent expenditure of the listed courts to the states.

They contended that Buhari’s Executive Order No. 00-10 of 2020 was a clear violation of sections 6 and 8(3) of the 1999 Constitution, which make it the responsibility of the Federal Government to fund the listed courts.

The 36 states, which said they had been funding the capital projects in the listed courts since 2009, are also praying the Supreme Court to order the Federal Government to make a refund to them.

“Since the 5th of May 2009, the defendant had not funded the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal of the plaintiffs’ states, apart from paying only the salaries of the judicial officers of the said courts.

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“The plaintiffs’ states have been solely responsible for funding the capital and recurrent expenditures of the state high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal of the plaintiffs’ states, which the defendant has failed and/or refused to fund,” they said.

 

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