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Financial autonomy for legislature, judiciary must be constitutional, say governors

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[files] Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) shuts down Federal high Court, Supreme Court, Court of Appeal and others in Abuja… PHOTO: LUCY LADIDI ATEKO

Plead with judicial workers to end strike

The 36 state governors, yesterday, said that although they were not opposed to financial autonomy for the legislature and judiciary, the implementation must follow the dictates of the 1999 Constitution (as amended).

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Governor Aminu Tambuwal, who addressed newsmen after leading members of the Implementation Technical Committee to a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, at the State House, Abuja, also appealed to the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) to call off its strike.

He said the state chief executives would meet on Monday to consider the committee’s final report.

Clarifying their position, Tambuwal stated: “From the very beginning, during the Eighth Assembly, under the leadership of Bukola Saraki and Speaker Dogara, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) under Abdulaziz Yari at the time, met with them (federal legislators) and supported financial autonomy for state legislature and judiciary. And that is why with that support, we were able to achieve the passage of this amendment by the National Assembly and the state legislatures across the country. So, the governors are unequivocally in support of the autonomy of these institutions.”

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Asked if the governors were willing to implement the law, the Sokoto helmsman said: “I can assure you that all of us are committed to building institutions, particularly our parliaments and the judiciary in our respective states as democratically elected governors.

“As I told you before, some of the issues are constitutional.”

On why President Muhammadu Buhari set up the implementation committee when the governors were not resisting the idea, Tambuwal said he was not in a position to query the wisdom of the Nigerian leader.

He said his panel had related with speakers of state assemblies and the judiciary.

“They should call off the strike. We’re appealing to them in the interest of this country,” the governor begged the aggrieved judicial workers.

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