President Muhammadu Buhari has been summoned to the Supreme Court by all thirty-six state governors of the Federation (36) over his Presidential Executive Order No. 00-10 of 2020 signed in May 2020. The Executive Order concerns the expenditure of all levels of Nigerian courts
Augustine Alegeh, former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), on Monday, led a group of 9 Senior Advocates of Nigeria (SANs), who filed the lawsuit on behalf of the states.
The 36 states raised their concerns, as they maintained that the executive order the president signed had shoved the financial responsibility of the Federal Government in terms of funding both the capital and recurrent expenditures of the State high courts, Sharia Court of Appeal and the Customary Court of Appeal, on the state governments.
According to the report gathered, ‘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.’,
The States also asserted that, aside from the payment of the salaries of the judicial officers of the three tiers of courts mentioned above, the President had since May 2009, deserted his responsibility of releasing accessible funds to the capital and recurrent expenditure of the respective courts.
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‘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.
And this loophole, has been the sole responsibility of the states in terms of funding diverse capital projects in the listed courts since 2009.
However, this order is seen as a clear violation of sections 6 and 8(3) of the 1999 constitution, while the states urge the apex to order the Federal Government to make a refund to them.