36 State Governors Succumb To Pressure, Fixes Date To Implement Autonomy for State Assemblies, Judiciary
With effect from May, the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) has finally decided to incorporate state legislature and judiciary autonomy.
On Monday, Ekiti state governor and NGF chairman Kayode Fayemi revealed this to state house correspondents.
The decision was reached, according to Fayemi, in a meeting attended by federal lawmakers, officials from the judiciary and legislative staff, and Ibrahim Gambari, the president’s chief of staff.
The Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria (JUSUN) has recently gone on strike in protest of the government’s inability to give the judiciary autonomy.
President Muhammadu Buhari signed an order to that effect in May 2020, but it was put on hold after the president met with governors, prompting claims that the governors were resisting the move.
The governors never objected to full autonomy for the state legislatures and judiciary, according to Fayemi, who added that “the question is about implementation.”
“Governors also made no objections to judicial and legislative autonomy. In reality, it would not have passed if governors had not backed it in the first place, in state legislatures,” he said.
“However, we don’t want to commit to anything on paper without first finding out the implementation details. Thankfully, the meeting we just left, chaired by the president’s chief of staff, has sorted out the modalities to the satisfaction of both parties.
“So soon as the final document is cleaned up, that is the start of the implementation process. We’re not going to place a deadline on it, so it will be applied as soon as possible, ideally by the end of May 2021.
“As far as this has gone, we have met with all the parties concerned,” he said, adding that the protesting judiciary and legislative employees should return to work.
“I believe we have arrived at a point where, if you speak to the chairperson of the conference of speakers, me, the representative of the judiciary, or the federation’s solicitor-general, you can hear that we are speaking in one voice on implementation.
”And you will begin to see the implementation of the agreement that we have reached no later than May.”
The Senate had previously stated that state assembly and judiciary autonomy is non-negotiable and that no one stands to risk anything if it is in effect.
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