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Agbakoba to governors: Obey ruling on judicial autonomy and save Nigeria from chaos

Olisa Agbakoba, former NBA president Olisa Agbakoba, former NBA president

Olisa Agbakoba, former president of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), says the Judicial Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) is correct in its pursuit of financial independence of the judiciary.

JUSUN commenced a nationwide strike on April 6, protesting the government’s failure to implement financial autonomy for the judiciary.

In a letter addressed to Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti state governor and chairperson, Nigerian Governors Forum (NGF), Agbakoba urged state governors to implement the demands of the union in order to “save the country this chaos”.

The senior lawyer cited previous court decisions which ordered that financial autonomy should be given to the courts.

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“I am saddened by the avoidable strike action by Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) because of the stress it has caused the judicial system,” he said.

“A simple way out is for state governors to observe the rule of law and obey Judgments of the court.

“Sections 81 (3) and 121 (3) of the Constitution of Nigeria, grants financial autonomy to Federal and State Judiciaries.  This has been confirmed by courts in the following cases: JUDICIARY STAFF UNION OF NIGERIA VS NATIONAL JUDICIARY COUNCIL & GOVERNORS OF THE 36 STATES IN SUIT NO: FHC/ABJ/CS/667/13; OLISA AGBAKOBA VS FG, THE NJC & NATIONAL ASSEMBLY SUIT NO. FHC/ABJ/CS/63/2013 and OLISA AGBKAOBA VS AG, EKITI STATE & 2 OTHERS SUIT No. NAD/56/2013

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“President Buhari has affirmed the decisions of the courts by issuing Executive Order 10 of 2020, in exercise of his powers under Section 5 of the Constitution to ensure execution and maintenance of the constitution which includes enforcement of decisions of the court.

“State governors should please enforce the decisions of the court and save the country this chaos.

“JUSUN is absolutely correct to pursue a policy of financial Independence of the courts guaranteed by the constitution and affirmed by three decisions of superior courts of Nigeria.”

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