Obaseki endorses autonomy for judiciary, assures enforcement

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Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, hosting executive members of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Edo State chapter, at the Government House, Benin City, on a courtesy, reaffirmed his endorsement of the autonomy of the judiciary as an arm of government in a presidential system within the context of separation of powers and checks and balances.


Governor Obaseki gave the assurance that the Edo State government will sustain adherence to the section of Nigeria’s 1999 constitution that prescribes autonomy of the judiciary.

The Edo State governor acknowledged that the autonomy and independence of the three arms of government will lubricate decision making processes in the democratic system of the country. He reaffirmed that his administration would continue to obey, respect and abide with the stipulation on separation of powers and judicial autonomy.by the 1999 constitution.

Governor citing the constitution, declared: “Section 121 (3) of the 1999 constitution states clearly that any amount and outstanding to the credit of the Judiciary in the consolidated revenue fund shall be paid directly to the head of the courts concerned; it is clear. In Edo State, that is what we do for the legislature, judiciary and the local governments.

“We have no issues with judicial autonomy but we need to state, understand and interpret the provision of the constitution and begin to adapt to them.”
the governor stated: “The issue of judicial autonomy and independence should not be in question or in doubt, as the functionality of the three arms of arms of government independently is best for Nigeria’s democratic system.

“I have listened to your presentation and wondered what the real issues are. But I think it is one of communication. It is not in the best interest of our democratic system for the three arms of government not to be independent and autonomous as one has to check over the other. The issues of autonomy and independence should not be in question or doubt.”
Governor Obaseki maintained that his administration works in collaboration with the NBA in Edo State, saying that both are in partnership in improving the judiciary. “Our administration is full of members of the NBA. The government and the NBA can be described as one in Edo State,” he said.

Chairman of the Edo State NBA, Pius Oiwoh, had disclosed: “We are here to present the issue of judicial autonomy. We have been canvassing and agitating over time for financial autonomy for the judiciary across the country. We are here to present a letter as directed by the National Secretariat of the NBA.

“It is going to be a continuous engagement so that the provision of section 121 sub section 3 of the constitution, which makes provision for financial autonomy of the judiciary, will be guaranteed and complied with. We have heard from his Excellency and are satisfied.”