The Executive Order 10 signed by President Buhari on the 21st of May, 2019 is aimed at freeing the State Legislatures and State Judiciaries from the fearsome grip of control-freak Governors, and ensuring their financial autonomy as guaranteed by the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the Buhari Media Organization has stated.
In a statement signed by its Chairman Niyi Akinsiju, and its Secretary, Cassidy Madueke, while responding to comments made by Governor Wike, in Abuja, where he described the Executive Order 10 as political and targeted against the Criminal Justice System, the group described the opinion of the Governor as hogwash and a diversion from the real issues vexing him.
The group noted that what the State Legislature and Judiciary deserve is financial independence to carry out their constitutional responsibilities, and this is what President Buhari’s Executive Order 10 is targeted at ensuring.
“The Executive Order 10 is first and foremost made in line with the constitutional powers of the President to enforce and maintain the provisions of the constitution. Consequent on this, the Executive Order 10 seeks to enforce the provisions of Section 121 (3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which is to the effect that funds in the Consolidated Revenue Fund of a State which are meant to be credited to State Judiciaries, must be paid directly to the heads of the courts.
“With Executive Order 10, President Buhari has taken the enforcement of the provisions a notch higher. The Executive Order makes it mandatory for the payments to State Legislature and Judiciaries to be charged as First Line Charges from State Consolidated Revenue Funds; and further authorises the Accountant-General of the Federation to deduct from source, money allocated to any state at the Federal Allocation, where such a state fails to release such allocation meant for the State Legislature and Judiciary.
“Any Nigerian seeking true fiscal federalism and independence and accountability of the State Judiciaries and Legislatures would applaud this and not frown at it.”
The group noted that “the provisions of Executive Order 10 are in the spirit of the constitution’s principle of Separation of Powers, and its intent that the Judiciary and Legislature must be independent of the whims and caprices of control-freak Governors who seek to turn the judiciary to an annex of their their power-holds.”
It went further to accuse Governor Nyesom Wike of being such a Governor, noting that “his comments are not surprising. If any politician has sought to corner the judiciary through greek gifts, Governor Wike, notorious for purchasing houses and cars for judges, fits that description well.”
The group went further to ask what Governor Wike was afraid of where the State Judiciary and Legislature are financially independent.
It further stated that Executive Order 10 is at the heart of devolution of powers which he and his cohorts have championed.
BMO stated that Executive Order 10 had pulled off the feet the ulterior motives of Governors who were seeking to manoeuvre their state legislature and judiciaries for their personal goals by taken away the power of the purse from their grip.