Alegeh seeks constitutional amendment, financial autonomy for judiciary
Former President of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Augustine Alegeh (SAN) has called for the urgent need for the National Assembly to amend the 1999 Constitution and grant financial autonomy to the judiciary.
He warned that the prevailing situation where the executive controls the finances of the judiciary is endangering the nation’s democracy.
Alegeh stated this while delivering a lecture titled “Strengthening Democracy in Nigeria: The Role of the Judiciary”, at the first Founder’s Day Lecture of the Edo State University, Iyamho, Edo State. He noted that sections 81, 84,121 & 162 of the 1999 constitution as amended, makes financial provisions for the judiciary but regretted that they are couched in a manner that creates issues of compliance.
“Financial autonomy of the judiciary is the bedrock for a dynamic and pragmatic judiciary. The executive is advised not to engage in any action that would undermine the financial autonomy of the judiciary.
“There is need for the provisions of the 1999 Constitution to be amended to give a more definitive provision for how funds due to the judiciary are to be determined and ascertained. A nation with a strengthened and vibrant judiciary will witness a renewed confidence by the citizenry in the justice delivery system, a reduction in crime rate, a decongestion of the prisons as well as increase in the revenue generation of the state and all these will strengthen our democracy” he said.
In his welcome address, the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor, said the vision of the university is to become a centre of excellence in quality teaching, research, innovations and community development.