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Buhari approves order granting autonomy to state legislatures, judiciary

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PHOTO: MBuhari/Twitter

• Names Obioma NECO Registrar
President Muhammadu Buhari has signed into law, Executive Order No. 10 of 2020 for the implementation of financial autonomy of state legislatures and state judiciaries.

A statement by the Special Assistant on Media and Public Relations to the Attorney General of the Federation (AGF), Dr. Umar Jibrilu Gwandu, yesterday, noted that a presidential implementation committee was also constituted to fashion out strategies and modalities for the implementation of the order, in compliance with Section 121(3) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

The President has also approved the appointment of Prof. Godswill Obioma as Registrar/Chief Executive of the National Examinations Council (NECO).

A letter dated May 15, this year, with reference No: FME/PS/396/C1/1/134 and signed by the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, said the appointment, which is for an initial tenure of five years, took effect from May 14.

The Executive Order is expected to consider all other applicable laws, instruments, conventions and regulations, which provide for financial autonomy at the state tier of government.

According to the statement, the implementation of the Order would strengthen the institutions at the states level and make them more independent and accountable, in line with the tenets of democracy, as enshrined in the constitution.

It further noted that the President signed the Order into law based on the powers vested in him under Section 5 of the 1999 Constitution (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 the 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 Order, 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.”

The new NECO boss, yesterday, formally took over the affairs of the Council from the former Acting Registrar, Mallam Abubakar Gana, at the Council’s headquarters in Minna, the Niger State capital.

He was a former executive secretary of the Nigeria Educational Research and Development Council.

Until his appointment, Obioma was the Independent National Electoral Commission’s (INEC) Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Ebonyi State.

A professor of Education Measurement and Evaluation, Obioma was born on December 12, 1953 and hails from Bende Council of Abia State.


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