The Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, has stated that the process of the constitutional implementation of Executive Order 10 is still evolving and that the states have financial responsibility to the judiciary and the legislature.
Malami said this while answering questions during a Nigerian Television Authority’s programme, Good Morning Show, on Tuesday.
He said, “There has been arising from the implementation committee, series of engagements, which are ongoing. I think as a process we are evolving.
“Nobody is contending about the constitutional amendment having being influenced. Nobody is equally contending about the need for the executive order.
“Nobody is contending about the fact that there exists a political will on the part of the executive, in particular the President, about the implementation of the autonomy of the judiciary and the legislature.
“But then perhaps the limited engagement is about modalities. So, I think against the background of these processes that are unfolding, the process is indeed evolving and we are certainly getting there.
“At the end of the day, the Executive Order has been influenced, the legislative processes associated with its implementation are in place. I think the engagement is a product of such a process that will eventually see to the implementation, application, and enforcement of the executive order.
“The fact remains that there are constitutional amendments, or perhaps, constitutional provisions establishing rights, responsibilities, liabilities, and assets within the context of the autonomy though the fact cannot be taken away that responsibilities, both of the federal and the state government, as far as the judiciary and the state legislatures are concerned, are constitutional, legislative, and statutory.
“You cannot take away the fact that there are financial responsibilities and financial rights both on the part of the federal and on the part of the state. The issue is whether the system arising from the constitutional provision can allow the state to shy away from their financial responsibilities as established constitutionally, as established through the existing legal framework, as established statutorily. That is the question. If the answer is yes, there is, then provide.”
The minister said the contention was about whether states are ready to provide or they are not.
He added, “Our position is that the state has financial responsibility at the state legislature and the state judiciary within the context of the constitution, existing legal framework, and statutory provisions prevailing both at the state and at the federal level.
“That is why they are being called upon to ensure the implementation so that the state legislature and state judiciary can be strengthened.
“The independence required, both financially and otherwise, can now be deepened for our democracy to thrive efficiently and effectively.”
He also stated that Executive Order 10 was necessary to support the existing legal and constitutional framework to fruition and to ensure that the constitutional provision comes to pass through the administrative processes.